Corona: Karl Lauterbach calls for vaccinations before Christmas

Corona: Karl Lauterbach calls for vaccinations before Christmas

The corona numbers are rising again in Germany. That’s why Health Minister Lauterbach is calling for more vaccinations before Christmas. For a full effect until the festival, now is “the optimal time”.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has called on people with risk factors to be vaccinated in view of the higher number of corona infections. The infection is not a cold, said the SPD politician in Berlin on Monday. If you get vaccinated now, this is “the optimal time” for it to be fully effective by Christmas, he explained, referring to older people aged 60 and over and those with chronic illnesses. It is very disappointing that so far only three million people have used vaccinations with new preparations that are adapted to current corona variants.

Lauterbach made it clear that calculations based on available data indicate a wave of infections. This should correspond to an incidence of 1,700 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, he said after a round table on longer-lasting impairments after corona infections.

The President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lars Schaade, also explained that the level now has a different meaning than in the pandemic due to the higher basic immunity through vaccinations and infections. An increase in values ​​can now also be seen in wastewater monitoring, but this is not reflected in the intensive care units.

Current Corona wave: No overload of clinics expected

“Nevertheless, of course, every individual infection carries a certain risk,” said Schaade. The older you are and if you already have underlying illnesses, the more the individual risk increases. And there is the risk of Long Covid. Lauterbach said: “Every infection avoided is good news.” In view of other infections, he does not expect the hospitals to be overloaded, but rather a heavy burden. “We can really help the clinics here by keeping the number of infections as low as possible.” Incidentally, he also fully understands if a mask requirement is reintroduced in clinics. Houses would have to decide that for themselves. “But of course this protects the employees and also the patients.”

Lauterbach called on people from risk groups to take up vaccinations and booster vaccinations recommended by the Standing Vaccination Commission now. “At the moment the danger posed by Covid is actually being underestimated.” He appeals to everyone who visits their family or meets older relatives over Christmas: “Please protect yourself or your loved ones by getting vaccinated.” This protects against a severe course, reduces the risk of Long Covid and for a limited time also from infections.

According to the current RKI report on acute respiratory diseases, the number of infections confirmed weekly in the laboratory has been growing for a long time. For the week ending November 26th, around 23,250 records were recorded. People with more severe symptoms, for example in hospital, are likely to be tested using PCR. According to the RKI, seasonal colds caused by rhinoviruses also contribute to the currently relatively high rate of acute respiratory diseases in the population. “There is currently no evidence of an incipient flu wave,” said Schaade.

Lauterbach: Don’t cancel Christmas parties

With a view to Corona, Lauterbach advised that, if in doubt, you should also wear a mask or get tested when visiting people from risk groups. “Because nothing is worse than a Christmas where you infect someone who then becomes seriously ill and may not fully recover.” He would not cancel Christmas parties in companies. However, he advises people with risk factors such as asthma or immune deficiencies to protect themselves with vaccinations and a mask or to not take part.

At the second round table on long-term impairments after corona infections, representatives from science and the healthcare system exchanged ideas about better support offers for those affected. Advice was given about increased research, easier use of soothing medications that are actually intended for other treatments, and rehabilitation services. There are still few contact points and waiting times for those affected are often long.

Long Covid refers to sometimes severe symptoms that persist or appear again after an acute phase of the illness of four weeks. The term Post Covid describes the clinical picture more than twelve weeks after an infection. The traffic light coalition had signaled that funding for health care research on Long Covid should be increased to 150 million euros in the 2024 budget.

Note: This article has been updated several times.

Source: Stern

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