Older people are at risk of being offered blows, the health minister says, amid concerns over the spread of the Delta variant.
Germany will begin offering COVID reinforcement strokes in September and will make it easier for 12- to 17-year-olds to get a jab, the health minister said, amid concerns over the spread of the Delta variant. .
Health Minister Jens Spahn and his 16 regional colleagues agreed after talks on Monday that the elderly and those at risk should receive a reinforcement shot, citing concerns about “a reduced or rapidly declining immune response” between some groups.
Mobile vaccination teams should be sent to nursing homes and nursing homes, the ministry said, to offer Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna reinforcement shots to residents, regardless of the vaccine they originally received.
Doctors will also be able to administer booster shots to those who qualify, including people with weakened immune systems.
A booster shot will also be offered to all those who have received the AstraZeneca dose or Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccines, the document released by Spahn’s minister said, “in the interest of preventive health care.”
Both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are viral vector vaccines, while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use a new mRNA technology that has shown high efficacy in studies.
Ministers also agreed to make the coronavirus vaccine more widely available to those over 12 years of age, going a step further than the country’s STIKO vaccine regulator.
The regulator currently only recommends the coronavirus vaccine for children 12 to 17 years of age if they have pre-existing conditions or live with people at high risk for COVID.
Although adolescents who do not fall into these categories are also allowed to be vaccinated, in consultation with their parents and doctors, STIKO’s prudent guidance has limited interest.
German health ministers agreed Monday to encourage vaccination among adolescents by opening all vaccination centers in the country to children aged 12 to 17, alongside the possibility of being vaccinated in regular clinics.
Ministers emphasized that the shot was voluntary, but said vaccinating children and adolescents could “significantly contribute to a safe return to the classroom after the summer holidays”.
Although Germany currently enjoys relatively low infection rates compared to neighboring countries, the numbers of cases have increased in recent weeks mainly due to the more contagious Delta variant.
There are also concerns about a slowdown in the country’s vaccination rate, with just over 52 per cent of the population completely inoculated.
In the European Union, the European Medicines Agency has approved the Pfizer / BioNTech and Modern blows for people over 12 years of age.
The head of STIKO, Thomas Mertens, told public radio MDR that the body is still waiting for long-term study data before deciding to issue a more general vaccination recommendation for more than 12 years.
The problem, he added, “is not so much the vaccination of children.”
What is needed to help suppress a fourth wave of COVID in Germany “is a high vaccination rate between 18- to 59-year-olds”.