NewsLauterbach's vaccine inventory shows deficiencies

Lauterbach's vaccine inventory shows deficiencies

Shortly after taking office, the new health minister gets an overview of the supply of corona vaccines – the result surprises him.

Berlin / Munich – According to the Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach, a corona vaccine inventory revealed a shortage for the first quarter of 2022. This surprised many. “Me too,” said the SPD politician in the ARD “Tagesthemen”.

In his own words, he is already working on eliminating the deficiency. “I hope that I can convey a positive message there in the next few days.” Efforts ran across all channels, including direct to companies, that everything had to be EU-compliant. “We have to gain speed here,” said Lauterbach.

Ask about procurement

When asked in the ZDF “heute journal” whether the deficiency was due to a failure by Lauterbach’s predecessor Jens Spahn (CDU), the chairman of the conference of health ministers (GMK), the Bavarian head of department Klaus Holetschek (CSU), said it was now not the question of where what was ordered. “The question is, how can we get more.”

The chairman of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Andreas Gassen, spoke of a fatal signal to everyone who was fully committed to fighting the pandemic. “We have just reached record speed with vaccinations in the practices in Germany, there comes this news,” said Gassen “Bild” (Wednesday). “It cannot be explained to anyone that too little vaccine was purchased in the country where vaccines were developed.”

The government is driving a major vaccination campaign as a central component in the fight against pandemics. In addition to the massive fourth wave, this is also due to the spreading, highly infectious omicron variant. Lauterbach had announced after taking office that he would get an overview of the vaccine quantities in stock.

Relief for those who have been boosted

The elimination of extra tests for people who have been vaccinated three times with access rules based on the 2G plus model is intended to provide additional vaccination incentives. The federal and state health ministers agreed on this measure on Tuesday evening. The relief should be checked after two months at the latest, as GMK chairman Holetschek said after the deliberations. In medical and care facilities, a test should continue to be required of those who are boosted to protect those who are particularly vulnerable there.

The German Foundation for Patient Protection welcomed this. “In this way, the virus can be stopped before it enters the facility unnoticed,” said Eugen Brysch, board member of the German press agency. Unfortunately, the health ministers do not take responsibility for the organization on site. It’s going like last year. “Nobody there to do it,” criticized Brysch.

There had previously been criticism of the facilitation of testing for people who had been vaccinated three times. Some experts considered this step premature. Lauterbach justified him, however. “Refraining from testing boosted patients makes epidemiological sense,” he said before the federal-state round of health ministers. With a booster vaccination, there is only a small risk of becoming infected – and an even lower risk of being contagious to others.

Booster important against Omikron

Specifically, it is about corona rules based on the 2G plus model – i.e. if an additional test is required for access only for vaccinated and convalescent people (2G). According to the latest federal-state resolutions, 2G applies to restaurants, leisure and cultural facilities; In addition, 2G-plus requirements can also be added. Holetschek explained that an exemption could take effect 15 days after the booster vaccination.

Lauterbach said on ARD that if Omikron would gain a foothold in Germany, the decision would have to be approached again. Therefore it is limited to two months. For the current delta wave, however, there are now more incentives for booster vaccinations – and these are the most important instrument to combat an omicron wave. The reinforcing third shot should usually be given five to six months after a full primary series. dpa

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