Corona was no longer a big issue for a long time. Now the curve is rising again, albeit from the very bottom. According to experts, there is no cause for concern. Nevertheless, some people should think about a corona booster vaccination.
The number of corona cases is rising again. However, it is light and of a very low level. “There is no reason for concern,” said Mainz virologist Bodo Plachter to the German Press Agency. Due to good immunity, the progression is usually mild. But it is also clear that there will be significantly more cases in autumn and winter. “Corona is now a disease that we have to live with and that occurs seasonally, similar to all other respiratory infections caused by viruses,” said the acting director of the Institute of Virology at Mainz University Medical Center.
Can you still become seriously ill with Corona?
Even in the third year with the coronavirus there are severe cases. Especially in people with previous illnesses, explains Mainz virologist Bodo Plachter. An infection can also be life-threatening for older people who have not yet been vaccinated. “The virus itself has not really weakened in the last few months. “But we have positioned ourselves better against it,” says the expert. In children, the infection is usually “relatively mild”.
Who should refresh their corona vaccination?
For members of risk groups, it makes sense to think about a booster vaccination in the fall. A booster vaccination is recommended by the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) at the Robert Koch Institute for the following groups:
- People aged 60 and over
- People with certain pre-existing conditions from the age of six months
- People at increased risk of becoming seriously ill or infected
- Nursing and health workers
- Relatives of at-risk patients
As a rule, at least twelve months should have passed since the last vaccination or infection.
Who is no longer recommended (booster) vaccination?
- The booster vaccination is no longer recommended for healthy adults under 60 and pregnant women.
However, all people between the ages of 18 and 59 should have basic immunity against SARS-CoV-2. Basic immunity is achieved after three vaccinations against Covid-19, or two vaccinations plus one infection with the virus.
- Stiko no longer recommends basic immunization and boosters for healthy infants, children and adolescents.
Which vaccines will be available in the fall?
As of this week, vaccines adapted against the current Corona variants will be available in Germany – but not yet for everyone:
- The preparation for people aged 12 and over will first be available in practices on September 18th.
- According to the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, the adapted vaccine for small children can be delivered for the first time from September 25th.
- The product will be available for children between the ages of five and eleven from October 2nd.
A total of 14 million doses are expected for this vaccination season. It is a vaccine adapted to the Omicron subline XBB.1.5, which is intended to provide better protection against circulating variants.
The Ministry of Health points out that corona and influenza vaccinations can be administered at the same time. In both cases, the health insurance company covers the costs. According to the information, anyone who wants to be vaccinated against Corona should contact family doctors and pediatricians.
When should you get vaccinated?
The Rhineland-Palatinate Health Minister Clemens Hoch advises certain population groups to have a booster corona vaccination from October. “I recommend that vulnerable groups over 60 years of age get a booster vaccination against the corona virus in addition to the flu vaccination from October – i.e. at the start of the cold season,” emphasized Hoch.
That doesn’t mean that everyone should necessarily have a refresher starting in October. It is important that there is refreshment for the expected peak phase of infectious diseases in January and February.
What autumn brings
Predictions about the course of flu and corona waves are difficult. Viruses continue to evolve. The timing and extent of their circulation are also influenced by many different parameters, as the RKI explains. However, Corona has also caused strong waves of illness, especially in autumn and winter. “Therefore, an increase in the number of cases in these seasons is to be expected in the future,” said the RKI.
Hospital association recommends flu vaccination
The CEO of the German Hospital Association, Gerald Gaß, expects further catch-up effects from other respiratory diseases in the autumn and winter, as in previous years. He therefore appeals to people to get vaccinated against flu in order to avert possible strain on hospitals.
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