The signs that daycare and primary school employees could move up in the vaccination sequence are growing. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn said on Saturday in an online discussion on the subject of corona vaccination in Berlin that it was socially very important that daycare centers and primary schools could reopen. But because distance is not possible there, they want to move the employees quickly into group two and make a vaccination offer possible earlier.
Four large groups have been defined for the vaccination sequence in Germany; according to the current vaccination ordinance, daycare and elementary school employees are in group three and their turn would be in May at the earliest. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the heads of government of the federal states asked the Ministry of Health at their latest meeting to check whether teachers could get their turn earlier. For this, the current vaccination ordinance would have to be changed.
Representatives of several federal states have meanwhile spoken out in favor. Baden-Württemberg Health Minister Manne Lucha (Greens) announced on Saturday that a corresponding change to the federal vaccination regulation was in progress. A fundamental decision should in all probability also be made in the health ministers’ conference on Monday. Spahn had already said on Friday that a “relatively large consensus” was emerging on this issue.
Spahn offers Astrazeneca-vaccinated patients a later mRNA vaccination
After immunization with the Astrazeneca vaccine, according to Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, a re-vaccination with another active ingredient is conceivable at a later date. This is “possible without any problems” if, by the end of the year, all those willing to be vaccinated were vaccinated and the vaccine was still available, said the CDU politician on Saturday at a question and answer session with citizens.
The question of re-vaccination with another agent is in the room because the active ingredient of Astrazeneca is less effective than the other two vaccines approved in the EU from Moderna and Biontech / Pfizer. However, experts advise not to wait to vaccinate.
The Astrazeneca vaccine prevents infection with the coronavirus less reliably than the preparation from Biontech / Pfizer, but Astrazenca’s vaccine also reliably prevents serious disease courses.
A few days ago Carsten Watzl, Secretary General of the German Society for Immunology, suggested a later vaccination. “You can later boost the immunity that you created with the Astrazeneca vaccine with an mRNA vaccine without any problems.”
On Friday it became known that a study in Israel confirmed that the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine was already highly effective after the first vaccination. As the Sheba Hospital near Tel Aviv announced, there were 85 percent fewer symptomatic infections among the more than 7200 clinic employees 15 to 28 days after the first dose.
The number of all infections, including asymptomatic ones, fell by 75 percent.
The Lancet published. “This supports the UK government’s decision to begin vaccinating its citizens with a single dose,” said the hospital’s deputy chief Arnon Afek. Great Britain decided to extend the interval between the first and the second vaccine dose, which is necessary for full immune protection, to twelve weeks in order to be able to immunize more people more quickly. Pfizer recommends an interval of three to four weeks.
Previous analyzes had shown the vaccine to be very effective in preventing symptomatic infections one week after the second vaccination. According to a recent survey by the health insurance company Clalit, this was 94 percent.
In addition, Pfizer and Biontech have asked the US authorities to officially store and transport the vaccine only at minus 20 degrees. It has been shown that the vaccine remains stable even at this standard freezer temperature.
The vaccine from Pfizer and Biontech normally still has to be cooled to minus 70 degrees.
Denmark closes several border crossings with Germany.
Denmark has closed several smaller border crossings to Germany because of the Corona situation in Flensburg. In the border town in the north of Schleswig-Holstein, according to Mayor Simone Lange (SPD), almost only corona infections with variant B.1.1.7, which initially occurred in England, are now found, which is considered particularly contagious.
The Danish government has therefore decided to step up operations on the German-Danish border, announced the Ministry of Justice in Copenhagen on Friday evening. Specifically, the Danish police wanted to close a total of 13 border crossings on Saturday night. Important transitions such as Frøslev, Kruså and Padborg, however, should remain open.
The ministry said that the controls there were “much more intensive”.
In Flensburg itself, corona requirements have been tightened again since midnight. Nightly exit restrictions will come into effect on this Saturday between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. In addition, private meetings are prohibited there for the time being.
The re are exceptions, for example for going to work or to the doctor.
The cause is suspected to be the rapid spread of virus variant B.1.1.7. This mutant was first detected on January 15 in Flensburg. According to the mayor, almost only new infections with mutated viruses are now found in the city.
RKI registers 9164 new corona infections and 490 new deaths
Within one day, the health authorities in Germany reported 9164 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). In addition, 490 new deaths related to the coronavirus were reported within 24 hours, according to figures from the RKI on Saturday.
On Saturday of last week, the RKI had registered 8354 new cases and 551 new deaths within one day. According to the RKI, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants reported within seven days (seven-day incidence) was 57.8 nationwide on Saturday morning – and thus slightly higher than the previous day (56.8). In the days before, there had been no significant decrease in the incidence.
Holidays in Alltours hotels will only have a corona vaccination in future
From autumn on, the Düsseldorf tour operator Alltours wants to only accommodate guests with a corona vaccination in its own Allsun brand holiday hotels. This rule is expected to apply from October 31, the company announced on Friday.
The exact time depends on the course of the vaccinations. Alltours operates 35 hotels under the name Allsun in Mallorca, the Canary Islands and Greece.
“We want to offer all guests the highest possible security so that they can enjoy their vacation in a relaxed way,” said Alltours owner Willi Verhuven, according to the announcement. With increasing vaccination rates and decreasing incidences in the vacation areas, nothing stands in the way of a vacation.
The virus doesn’t just give up”
The virus does not just give up,” he said in a press conference on Friday. This has been shown by recent developments both in the growing spread of mutants and in leveling off the decline in new infections. In order to counteract the mutant, which was first discovered in Great Britain, measures such as entry bans from certain countries are useful and effective.
When it comes to vaccinations, the strategy is still to give many people full protection as quickly as possible through a second vaccination, which is necessary with the previous vaccines. Since the deliveries by the manufacturers are now increasing, the vaccination rate must also be increased. By the end of next week, ten million vaccine doses would be delivered. Around 150,000 people are currently being vaccinated in Germany every day. “We have to at least double the number in the near future,” said Spahn. He denied reports that general practitioners’ practices could also be vaccinated from April 1.
In many federal states, there are now considerations to vaccinate groups that, according to the prioritization, would not yet have their turn earlier. According to the Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU), the federal state ministers also want to talk on Monday about whether teachers and educators should be brought forward.
The heads of government of the federal and state governments had pleaded for this at their last meeting. Holetschek agreed to the demand.
Spahn reiterated the federal government’s plans to make free rapid tests available from the beginning of March. He announced that there could be bottlenecks at the beginning of the introduction due to the large crowd. Self-tests for everyone are also foreseeable. All of these measures would help to get out of lockdown more quickly and stably.
Spahn supports the idea that there could be different measures and relaxations for regionally very different incidences. This must also be done through “clever solutions” with regard to neighboring districts.
The President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, said that the values in many districts in Germany are already very low and this shows that it is possible to contain the virus. But one must now consistently continue on this path.
Regarding the ongoing vaccination debate, Wieler said that all vaccines approved in Germany are safe and effective, according to all that is known, also against the known virus variants. He expects an increase in infections among young people and children in the coming weeks. We do not yet know exactly whether the worrisome variants play a role “, said Wieler. However, the proportion of variant B 1.1.7 is increasing rapidly.” We have to be prepared for the fact that this will also make fighting the pandemic more difficult ” “Wieler said. It is becoming more difficult to achieve the goal of low incidence levels.” Any careless relaxation accelerates the virus and sets us back.
The n in a few weeks we will be exactly where we were for Christmas. “
The occurrence of the mutant B.1.1.7 can already be noticed in counties with high incidence values such as Tirschenreuth. However, this can still be contained. Now one is preparing to further increase the vaccination capacities.
The plans include medical practices and company doctors. “Vaccination is a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel.” Holetschek explained that he had no concerns about the vaccine from Astra Zeneca, but that he perceived different opinions among the population.
He demanded to “think big” in the area of care in the future and to make massive investments in the area as well as in the promotion of employees. This needs to be addressed as soon as possible.