Autumn is approaching – who then needs a booster vaccination against the coronavirus? The majority of the population does not, says the virologist Drosten.
Berlin – Virologist Christian Drosten is convinced that most people who have been vaccinated will not need a booster vaccination against the coronavirus in autumn.
“The protective effect of the corona vaccines is much better than, for example, the influenza vaccines,” he told the German Press Agency in Berlin. He also does not expect a new virus variant that is resistant to the available vaccines to appear anytime soon.
For old people and certain high-risk patients, Drosten believes that a booster vaccination this autumn makes sense. “After six months, the antibody level acquired through the vaccination goes down significantly, especially in very old people.” In special environments such as retirement homes, a refreshment is therefore conceivable. Not delivering the doses required for this abroad is justifiable despite the international shortage of vaccines. For the rest of the population, an age level may be defined at some point from which a booster vaccination would make sense. “This autumn, however, it is important to close the vaccination gaps in the 60-year-olds in the first place.”
Booster vaccinations in the US
The US government announced on Wednesday that it would probably provide the entire American population with booster vaccinations against the corona virus from September. Fully vaccinated people should get a third dose around eight months after the second injection of the preparations from Moderna or Pfizer / Biontech, high-ranking health officials announced. The reason for this is the spread of the particularly contagious Delta variant as well as data evaluations on the gradually decreasing vaccination protection.
The German company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer had submitted the first data for the approval of a booster vaccination against the coronavirus to the US FDA on Monday. In the coming weeks, the data from a phase 1 study should also be submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other authorities. Participants received a booster vaccination eight to nine months after the second dose, it said. Compared to a double vaccination, people with a booster vaccination could have detected “significantly higher neutralizing antibody titers”.
In the USA, other countries and occasionally in Germany, booster vaccinations are already being given for certain groups.
Criticism of booster vaccinations
The World Health Organization (WHO) criticizes the plans for booster vaccinations in healthy people. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist, said in Geneva on Wednesday that it was not even clear whether they were necessary. While there are plenty of vaccines available in rich countries, millions of people in dozens of countries around the world are still waiting for the chance to be vaccinated. WHO Emergency Relief Coordinator Mike Ryan said that offering people a booster vaccination is like giving people with life jackets another vest, while millions of others are left without any protection.
According to the Cologne intensive care doctor Christian Karagiannidis, most of the Covid patients currently being treated in German clinics do not have a corona vaccination. He told the newspapers of the Funke media group (online Thursday, print Friday) that there are also cases of vaccinated corona patients in inpatient treatment – so-called vaccination breakthroughs. “We currently have 12 to 13 percent of Covid patients in clinics with vaccination protection in North Rhine-Westphalia. This quota should also correspond to the nationwide quota. “
In his experience, the inpatient treatment of people with breakthroughs in the vaccination are, for example, patients with a restricted immune response, for example as a result of drug dampening of the immune system. It is important that a third vaccination is now offered as a booster to those patients who have a subdued immune system, said Karagiannidis.
Criticism of vaccinations for children in schools
Meanwhile, the professional association of paediatricians is criticizing the plans of several federal states to vaccinate children and adolescents in and around schools against the corona virus. “The young people are very much under peer pressure in the schools, so that a free and independent decision is difficult,” said the national spokesman of the association, the pediatrician Jakob Maske, the editorial network Germany (RND / Thursday). Mask instead advised vaccination in practices: “Vaccinating your own pediatrician has the advantage that the doctor knows the family and the environment well and can advise the parents better on whether the vaccination is useful for the family or not. “
The German Teachers’ Association, on the other hand, welcomed the plans to carry out vaccinations in schools. “Anything that quickly increases safety in schools is good,” said association boss Heinz-Peter Meidinger to the RND.
According to the recommendation of the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) for corona vaccination of children and adolescents from the age of twelve, special vaccination campaigns for this age group have started or are being planned in several federal states. Mobile vaccination teams are being sent to schools, for example, “family vaccination days” are planned in vaccination centers, leisure facilities and animal parks, and special “vaccination routes” are being set up for children and adolescents in vaccination centers. dpa