“This is huge damage”

Vaccination talk at Maybrit Illner
“This is huge damage”

By Marko Schlichting

The corona situation in Germany is deteriorating dramatically. That is why the Robert Koch Institute has increased its risk assessment for unvaccinated and vaccinated people. Maybrit Illner discusses how to cope with the next few weeks with her guests.

People have been vaccinated against the corona virus for almost a year. But the vaccination rate in Germany is still too low. The result: the number of infections increases dramatically. According to the Robert Koch Institute, the risk of infection in unvaccinated people is “very high”. But more and more people who have been vaccinated are also getting infected. One solution: booster or booster vaccinations. They should first get old people and “vulnerable groups”. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn demanded that. Basically a good solution – the guests of the ZDF program “Maybrit Illner” agreed on this on Thursday evening. Nevertheless, there are different opinions, even if only about small things.

In the current ARD Germany trend, a majority of those surveyed recently spoke out in favor of compulsory vaccination. Federal Minister of Health Spahn is more cautious. He fears that compulsory vaccination could lead to a division in society. However, in several interviews he advocated compulsory testing in nursing homes. If necessary, he even wants to promote their implementation in federal law in the Bundestag. But there should be no compulsory vaccination for carers either.

At the moment, older people in particular are at risk of becoming infected through breakthrough vaccinations. The health expert and SPD politician Karl Lauterbach explains this at Illner: The risk of infection depends on the amount of antibodies a person has. This number is falling faster in older people. In addition, the infections are more dangerous for them, because they were the first to be vaccinated, which could have a negative effect on antibodies.

“Here is danger ahead”

Some people need a third booster vaccination, says the chairman of the board of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Andreas Gassen. “We should hurry,” he says, “but it’s not that we only have a few days left.” Christine Falk, President of the German Society for Immunology, explains it a little more precisely. At the moment, most people are well protected with vaccinations. 55 million people are vaccinated in Germany, currently there have been just 145,000 vaccination breakthroughs. That is just under 0.25 percent of those vaccinated.

Nevertheless, Chancellery Minister Helge Braun warns: “The fact that the booster vaccinations are now starting so slowly is a huge damage.” After all, people have been talking about their necessity since September. “There is imminent danger here,” said Braun.

Talk guests against compulsory vaccination

“The risk for the elderly comes from the high number of people who have not been vaccinated,” says Falk with certainty. The Robert Koch Institute announced in July that an increase in the incidence value was to be expected if at least 75 percent of the population had not been vaccinated. In Germany, the vaccination rate is currently around 70 percent. Nevertheless, she speaks out against a general compulsory vaccination. She says: “I would prefer that we understand how important our own actions are.” In her opinion, legal regulations should only exist in an emergency. Gassen speaks out against compulsory vaccination, especially for carers. The danger is that nurses would then decide not to work at all. Lauterbach is of the same opinion and, like Jens Spahn, demands that every employee and every visitor to a care facility must be tested, free of charge, of course.

One guest speaks out in favor of compulsory vaccination for caregivers: the district administrator of Heinsberg, Stephan Pusch. Heinsberg was Germany’s first corona hotspot last year. “As a politician, you have to be courageous and determine that,” he says. After all, nurses have very close contact with a large number of patients every day, Pusch explains his request. None of the guests came up with the idea of ​​increasing the salaries of vaccinated geriatric nurses for a certain period of time.

“Doctors create booster vaccinations”

The guests at Illner are not entirely in agreement about who should vaccinate the elderly. Gassen would like to leave that to the doctors: “We can do it,” he says. Lauterbach is in favor of a limited opening of vaccination centers. According to the KV boss, however, it is much more important to convince unvaccinated people of the need for a vaccination. He prophesies: “If unvaccinated people continue not to be vaccinated, we will see that they will all become infected by spring.” The risk of a corona disease taking a severe course is 25 times higher for a 45-year-old unvaccinated than for a vaccinated person, says Gassen.

And Lauterbach adds: “We are in an emergency.” That is why the federal government will legally grant the federal states everything they need when the “epidemic national scope” ends on November 24th. Finally, Falk brings up one point that is often overlooked in the current discussions. In Germany around 55 million people are vaccinated, she says. “I would like to support them.”

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“This is huge damage”

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