BHealth Minister Karl Lauterbach has spoken out in favor of “clear recommendations”, including for people under the age of 60 or 70, as to whether and in which cases a fourth corona vaccination is advisable. “Of course the younger ones also want to know what they should do now. We now need clear recommendations for all age groups,” said the SPD politician to the newspapers of the Funke media group.
“We shouldn’t just say what the over 70s should do,” explained Lauterbach. “We also need to have an answer for the 40-year-old. Shouldn’t he be vaccinated? Or only in exceptional cases, for example if there are a lot of contacts at work? Or only if the family doctor recommends it? You need a message for every age.” At the latest when the new vaccines adapted to the Omicron variant are available, “there should also be clear messages for those under 60 years of age”.
EU authorities for second booster shot for everyone over 60
The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) currently only recommends a fourth corona vaccination for people over the age of 70 and some risk groups. Leading EU authorities had advocated a second booster vaccination for everyone over 60. Lauterbach, on the other hand, had campaigned for four vaccinations on a broader front, including among people under the age of 60 – after consulting the doctor.
In view of the criticism of these inconsistent statements, the goal was set in July to better coordinate communication on corona vaccinations. Lauterbach and Stiko chairman Thomas Mertens agreed to set up a pandemic working group within Stiko. This should ensure continuous communication with the ministry as early as the phase of discussion and advice on a new vaccination recommendation.
Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann defended the proposed corona protection concept for autumn and winter with possible mask requirements indoors. “I would prefer if we didn’t need any more measures at all,” said the FDP politician to “Bild am Sonntag”. “However, many scientists – including critical ones – assume that the health system will be under a great deal of stress.” “Therefore we want to work with the mildest means. This is the mask.”
Buschmann and Health Minister Lauterbach presented the concept on Wednesday. Your draft for the Infection Protection Act provides that the federal states may again impose mask requirements from October. A mask requirement on buses, trains and planes should therefore continue to apply nationwide, as well as a new mask and test requirement in hospitals and care facilities. The federal states should decide for themselves whether they also require masks in publicly accessible indoor areas.
There is a lot of criticism of the plan to exempt people from wearing masks in restaurants or at cultural and sporting events if their vaccination is not older than three months. In addition, there should be exceptions for tested and newly recovered people.
“The exceptions to the mask requirement indoors are intended to give operators more leeway for entrepreneurial responsibility,” emphasized Buschmann. “An operator can, for example, organize an indoor public viewing for the World Cup and only let in visitors with tests, so that there is normality at the event without a mask with a very low risk. Because the domiciliary rights of every operator enable him to make use of only some of the exceptions or of no exception at all.”