Vaccination expert: It may be necessary to withdraw the easing

On Friday, the National Vaccination Board made its recommendation for the Astra Zeneca vaccine also for people over 65 and risk groups. This decision was not made under pressure or because of the shortage of vaccines, emphasized the head of the National Vaccination Committee, the vaccinologist Ursula Wiedermann-Schmidt, in the ZiB 2 in the evening.

In the last few days and weeks in particular, several studies have appeared, which would have shown the high effectiveness also in these groups of people.

Regarding the image of Astra Zeneca, the expert said that vaccines cannot be compared with one another because there are no studies that make such comparisons. All three vaccines currently available have done their part in combating the pandemic.

Wiedermann-Schmidt expects approval of the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson in the next few months; she did not want to comment on the Russian Sputnik V.

With every vaccine that is added, the probability is greater that it will be possible – as announced by the government – to vaccinate everyone who wants to be vaccinated by the summer.

Studies are now also being carried out on vaccines for children and adolescents – an age group in which the number of infections has recently increased significantly; So far, the vaccines are only approved from 16 (Biontech / Pfizer) or 18.

Wiedermann-Schmidt expressed concern about the generally increasing incidences. It “seems like we are heading for a third wave,” she said.

It is all the more important to “participate in the measures as well as possible” – in the next few weeks “everyone will still have to help together”.

Epidemiologically, it would have been best to allow everything – but the experts are also aware that there are other aspects as well. Seen in this way, the cautious openings from February 8th were just a middle ground.

Wiedermann-Schmidt was skeptical about the further easing announced from Easter. It is even conceivable to withdraw existing openings. In particular when the occupancy of the intensive care beds reaches a critical level, one must countermeasure “whatever this countermeasure will look like”.


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