Read the latest news and reports on the coronavirus and its impact on the church and society here in the Sonntagsblatt news ticker.
Bavaria relies on hospital traffic lights instead of incidence values
Tuesday, 31. August 2021, 14.30 o’clock: A move away from incidence rates and instead a "hospital traffic light" will be used apply: Bavaria strikes thereby a "new chapter" in the fight against Corona, said Prime Minister Markus Soder (CSU) on Tuesday. Caution is still needed, but existing vaccines allow for more normality. The fourth wave is "not a pandemic like we had before", said Soder. It’s a "pandemic of the unvaccinated and the young".
The heart of the new anti-corona strategy in Bavaria is the move away from incidence values. These are no longer meaningful enough at rates of more than 60 percent among the doubly vaccinated. There will therefore "definitely no longer be a lockdown or restrictions as we had them", Soder announced.
However, we need "a kind of firewall for our security", also to prevent overburdening of the health care system. This is to be a "hospital traffic light" his.
The safety barrier is the occupancy of hospitals with Corona patients. The traffic light jumps to yellow if within a week nationwide 1.200 hospital beds would be newly occupied by covid or even long covid patients. He added that this includes not only intensive care and respiratory beds but also normal hospital beds. If the traffic light jumps on yellow, regional or country-wide measures follow. These could then, for example, also be contact restrictions again.
The warning level of red is reached when 600 intensive care or respiratory beds are fully occupied. The highs in the past three waves would have been more than 800, Soder. From a seven-day incidence of more than 35 would apply in the respective city or county "wide-area 3G" indoors. Access to indoor public areas would then be restricted to vaccinated, recovered or tested patients. There would be exceptions for local traffic, commerce and at home.
In the outdoor area 3G "basically does not apply", Soder said. Exception are events of more than 1.000 people. If the minimum distances cannot be maintained indoors, for example at cultural or sporting events, masks will continue to be compulsory there – however, until the yellow hospital traffic light level is reached, FFP2 masks will no longer be compulsory in Bavaria in the future; the so-called medical masks will suffice, it was said. The new rules come into force m 2. The new regulations came into force on September 1 and will remain in force up to and including September 1. October.
More myopic children because of Corona?
Tuesday, 31. August 2021, 13.3 p.m: In addition to increasing psychological stress among children and adolescents, the Corona pandemic could have other negative effects on the health of adolescents. A study from Hong Kong suggests to the Bavarian Green Party parliamentary group that there is a link between increased media consumption during the Corona pandemic and an increase in myopia among schoolchildren, the group said. Member of parliament Johannes Becher complained that the state government does not seem to be interested in this issue.
The Bavarian Ministry of Health points out in a response to a Green Party question that it has no meaningful data for Bavaria on the subject of myopia in children and adolescents. Since the 2015/2016 school year, myopia in Bavaria is no longer recorded in the school entrance examination, criticizes Green politician Becher. The ministry is also unaware of the study from Hong Kong. This tracked the development of myopia among elementary school students for several years and showed an increase since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to the Ministry of Health, the causes of the increasing myopia among children and adolescents are not conclusively clarified. As "relatively safe" However, he said, the increasing close work and a decrease in the time spent outdoors applies. Whether homeschooling or increasing media consumption "per se increases myopia risk" had, can currently "not be clearly determined". The Greens therefore demand "concrete research measures" as well as targeted education and prevention work in schools and families.
Teachers’ association criticizes ‘hasty Corona relaxations’ in Bavaria
Monday, 30. August 2021, 14.10 a.m: The Bavarian Philologists’ Association (bpv) warns against "hasty Corona relaxations" at the start of the new school year in two weeks’ time. The bpv chairman Michael Schwagerl criticized on Monday for example the Aus of the FFP2-Maskenpflicht in the Free State announced by Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Soder (CSU): "Relaxations at the current time are (. ) are the wrong way to go and represent an unnecessary risk."
That in the future in schools as well as in the local traffic medical masks are to be sufficient instead of FFP2-Masken does not clear the bpv boss. The start of the school year in other German states has already shown that the risk of infection, for example from returning travelers, is a "serious and justified concern" represent. In local traffic, people from different areas would be crowded together at rush hour, FP2 masks would offer more safety.
The bpv chairman reminded that children and adolescents are mostly still unvaccinated when the school year starts. The Stiko recommendation for vaccination from the age of twelve is, after all, still quite new, a full vaccination protection is possible for many children only in late autumn. In addition it demanded also for secondary schools PCR pool tests, as they are planned now at primary and special schools. Progress on testing strategy would have to benefit all types of schools.
Helper jobs hit hardest by Corona crisis
Tuesday, 24. August 2021, 11.06 a.m: The Corona pandemic has mainly affected professions with simple activities. Because in the "helping professions had been in the spring of 2020 with the first lockdown a strong slump, as according to the statement a study published on Tuesday by the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) of the Federal Employment Agency revealed. The decline in helper jobs from March 2020 was particularly pronounced in the catering and accommodation sectors due to the lockdown, said IAB researcher Barbara Schwengler. The temporary employment industry has also been hit particularly hard by the Corona crisis. However, employment in the helper professions has already recovered as of June 2020 in the wake of the relaxation of the pandemic restrictions.
Hospitals: No new rush of corona patients expected
Friday, 20. August 2021, 10.01 a.m: Hospitals don’t expect new wave of Corona patients even from contagious Delta variant. In contrast to the first Corona phase before the vaccinations, the proportion of people who have to be treated in hospital will fall significantly by 75 to 80 percent, said the managing director of the Bavarian Hospital Association, Roland Engehausen, according to a statement in an interview with the "Augsburger Allgemeine" (Friday edition).
However, according to Engehausen, more treatment services for long-covoid patients are being set up in Bavarian hospitals. But Long-Covid is all about good cooperation between all players in the health sector. Because Long Covid is an unspecific illness, which requires first a thorough diagnostics.
Health insurance: In the Homeoffice fewer sick reports
Thursday, 19. August 2021, 11.34 p.m: In the first half of 2021, significantly fewer employees in Bavaria took sick leave due to respiratory diseases. On the other hand, sick leave due to psychological ailments has increased, the DAK’s new sick leave analysis among its insured employees has revealed. The DAK published the figures on Thursday. Overall, the Bavarians had twelve percent fewer days of absence in the first six months of the year, it said.
Particularly clearly the decrease is with employees, who could work during the Pandemie more in the Homeoffice, so the DAK. Home office and increased hygiene measures would have had an impact. "Not only do they protect against Corona, but other common cold germs are less likely to be transmitted,", said Sophie Schwab, head of the DAK regional office in Bavaria. In the first half of 2020, bronchitis and other colds were still the second most common cause of sick leave. Ranked fourth in the new year.
As in the previous year, most of the days missed were due to back problems or other musculoskeletal problems. A quarter of the work absenteeism is due to this, according to the DAK. One-fifth (19.3 percent) of sick notes were submitted due to mental illnesses. That was more than seven percent above the level in the first half of 2020, he said. "The pandemic with all its accompanying symptoms has acted like an amplifier on mental illnesses", so Schwab. For example, among school or college teachers, depression and other mental health conditions are already the most common cause of job absenteeism, he said.
The sickness rate in Bavaria is 3.4 percent, which is below the national level (3.7 percent), according to the health insurance fund. Nationwide, the number of people affected by the disease has also declined, it was said. It was 24.2 percent, about eight percentage points lower than the same half of last year, he said. So, he said, more than three-quarters of employees did not take a day off sick in the first half of the year.
Diakonie president: Child and youth welfare services now particularly important
Wednesday, 18. August 2021, 14.37 p.m: According to Michael Bammessel, president of Diakonie Bayern, the consequences of the Corona pandemic for children will probably only really become apparent in the coming months and years. The Diakonie therefore expects that facilities for children and youth services will be needed even more urgently in the future, he said in the new Diakonie video blog "Menschenskind". In this municipally financed field now to apply the red pencil would be fatal.
"If you save now at this point, you save on those who actually have it the hardest", said Bammessel after his visit to the Ernst-Nagelsbach-Haus in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, a Diakonie facility for children and young people from difficult backgrounds. The Corona pandemic has escalated the situation in many families, there are traumatizations and psychological disorders of the children.
Holetschek welcomes new STIKO recommendation on vaccination of children
Monday, 16. August 2021, 15.46 h: Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) has welcomed the decision of the Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO) to recommend Corona vaccinations for all children and adolescents aged twelve and older. The decision is an important signal to parents and children, he said according to communication of its Ministry on Monday in Munich. The more children and young people are vaccinated, the safer they can start the coming school year.
Bavaria has been actively implementing the upcoming STIKO recommendation since the beginning of August. Many immunization centers offer special immunization appointments for children and adolescents 12 and older, or immunization appointments as "family afternoons," he said, In addition, the physicians in private practice are also vaccinating, Schwab said. In the meantime, 24 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds in Bavaria have received at least one vaccination, and 15.8 percent have already been fully vaccinated (as of 16.08.2021).
Holetschek is counting on the STIKO to quickly address the equally urgent recommendation of a booster vaccination.
Church services continue without Corona tests
Thursday, 12. August 2021, 16.40 o’clock: Nothing changes for church attendance under new Corona resolutions by federal and state governments. "AHA+L rules for religious services still apply", a spokesman for the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) told the Evangelical Press Service . The detailed hygiene concepts based on the respective rules coordinated with the states had proven themselves, church services had not contributed to the pandemic so far.
In the draft resolution for the federal-state consultations on Tuesday, it had initially still said that the so-called 3G rule – vaccinated, recovered and tested – also applied to attendance at religious services. The adopted resolution no longer contains this passage.
The North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister and CDU candidate for Chancellor Armin Laschet had said on Tuesday evening after the end of the consultations that a visit to a church service is something different than a visit to a disco. "This is about a fundamental right – the fundamental right to practice one’s religion. In this respect, the rule is not in there", he said. He assumes that worshippers are usually already doubly vaccinated anyway.
Vaccination campaign at the weekend in Munich Cathedral
Wednesday, 11. August 2021, 10.25:00: A low-threshold vaccination offer is being offered by the Parish Church Foundation of Munich Cathedral on Friday and Saturday (13. and 14. August) in their parish hall. The vaccination campaign in cooperation with the mobile vaccination team of the Munich Vaccination Center is intended primarily for people in precarious living situations, according to the statement. A registration in advance is not necessary.
Soder for recalculation of Corona limits
Tuesday, 10. August 2021, 9.05 o’clock: Bavaria’s Minister President Markus Soder (CSU) has spoken out in favor of recalculating the limits for Corona restrictions. Three factors will play a role in this: The number of infections, the vaccination rate and the number of hospital loads, the politician said Tuesday on Bayern 2 "radioWelt". If hospitalization remained low, restrictions could not be justified.
Ahead of federal-state consultations on how to proceed with the Corona pandemic today (Tuesday) in Berlin, Soder opposed the stance of North Rhine-Westphalia’s minister-president Armin Laschet (CDU) in favor of treating voluntarily unvaccinated and vaccinated people differently, with a view to fewer restrictions for those who have been fully vaccinated and those who have recovered. He also renewed his call to make Corona tests for the voluntarily unvaccinated chargeable.
SPD: People with disabilities not forgotten in third vaccination
Monday, 9. August 2021, 9.55 pm: According to SPD health expert Ruth Waldmann, the Bavarian state government must learn from mistakes made during the first vaccination campaign. For example, people with disabilities and those in need of care who live at home should not be forgotten when it comes to a booster vaccination against the Corona virus, she demanded, according to a statement on Monday. Also the carriers of the facilities as well as the health offices, vaccination centers as well as the medical profession must be included in good time in the planning of the third vaccination for particularly vulnerable persons announced for autumn.
Up to now, these had often been caught off guard with injunctions and left alone with implementation. This must not be repeated. Also, the vice chairwoman of the Health Committee urged that all people with level of care 4 and higher be considered from the outset. "In the first vaccination campaign, facilities for people with disabilities initially fell off the grid, as did the many people in need of care at home with their family caregivers", she said. They have remained unprotected for too long.
Catholic association calls for pool PCR tests also for daycare centers
Thursday, 5. August 2021, 14.33 pm: The Association of Catholic Daycare Centers in Bavaria demands a new testing strategy for daycare centers and kindergartens from the state government for the start of the new kindergarten year in September. Pool PCR tests should then take place in Bavarian daycare centers, the association announced in Munich on Wednesday. Analogous to the pool tests for school children, this should also be made possible for daycare children. In view of the contagious delta variant, action must be taken quickly, he said.
The use of pool tests was necessary not least to prevent a renewed emergency care in the Kitas with a limited number of children and reduced opening hours, it said. Keeping daycare centers open is imperative to protect children from significant negative social, psychological, and physical consequences, he said. The biggest disadvantage of the current testing strategy for daycare children with the entitlement certificates is that there is no return of the test results to the facilities.
Medical sociologist: Corona prevention disregards cultural diversity
Wednesday, August 4. August 2021, 11.3 p.m: In view of the still below-average Corona vaccination rate among people with a refugee and migration background, medical sociologist Ramazan Salman calls for more low-threshold and target-group-specific information and prevention services. "Although we live in a socially, ethnically and culturally highly diverse society, our system is not designed for diversity", criticized the head of the Ethno-Medical Center in Hanover in an interview with the Evangelical Press Service . The corona management in Munich’s asylum shelters, on the other hand, is exemplary.
The prevailing view of people with roots outside Germany was still too "sweeping and egalitarian," it said. It has taken far too long for information on Corona to be available "in all relevant languages and through all relevant channels" would have been available. Only a few months after the outbreak of the pandemic, the Federal Ministry of Health disseminated essential information in ten languages. "In the meantime, many people had been taken in by misinformation through the social media or the broadcasters of their countries of origin", said the social scientist, who advises the federal government and cities and municipalities, among others.
Cultural differences also contribute to the fact that people deal with the Corona situation in very different ways. "Especially in the African and Arab region, health care is a foreign word for many. There the doctor is there for the sick, but not to prevent disease." A lack of speed and cultural sensitivity in information policy are now taking revenge, for example in vaccination skepticism and a below-average vaccination rate in migrant population groups.
Health ministers: Corona vaccinations nationwide from twelve years of age
Tuesday, 3. August 2021, 09.51 p.m: All federal states want to offer children and adolescents between 12 and 17 years a Covid 19 vaccination also in vaccination centers or with other low-threshold offers. As the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK) announced after its meeting on Monday, this would require appropriate medical information and, if necessary, the consent of the parents or guardians. "In addition, the children and adolescents can also be vaccinated by the established pediatricians, adolescents and family doctors and also in the context of the vaccination of employees’ relatives by company doctors", decided the ministers and senators for health of the countries in agreement with the Federal Minister for Health. The GMK, whose current chairman is Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU), also cleared the way for booster vaccinations starting in September.
The GMK had already on 6. May decided to make all children and young people by the end of August 2021 an appropriate vaccination offer to want to make. This vaccination offer was well received by guardians, children and adolescents, it was reported. As of 1. August, 20.5 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds nationwide have already been vaccinated, said the social scientist. 9.9 percent of this age group are already fully vaccinated.
"For the group of adolescents and young adults in universities and vocational schools, the Lander make structured, low-threshold offers or such in cooperation with the vaccination centers", it said further. This could contribute to a safer start to teaching and learning after the summer vacations. "The offers are to be designed in such a way that the voluntary nature of accepting this vaccination offer is not called into question", stressed the health minister conference further.
In a further resolution, it was agreed that, as of September 2021, a booster vaccination would be offered as a rule at least six months after completion of the first vaccination series in the sense of preventive health care in nursing homes, institutions for integration assistance and other institutions with vulnerable groups: "Patients with immune deficiency or immunosuppression as well as those in need of care and the very elderly in their own homes should be offered a booster vaccination by their attending physicians."
Study data to date show that these groups in particular benefit from booster vaccination, the statement continued. The booster vaccinations should be given with one of the two mRNA vaccines, i.e. from Biontech/Pfizer or Moderna. It is irrelevant with which vaccine the persons have been vaccinated before. The vaccinations could take place both in the regular system of the established physicians and with mobile teams of the vaccination centers, according to the GMK.
In addition, according to the GMK, from September onwards, also in the spirit of preventive health care, all citizens who have already been fully vaccinated and who have received the first vaccination with a vector vaccine from AstraZeneca or Johnson& Johnson have received, offered another vaccination with the mRNA vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer or Moderna.
Regional bishop puzzled by vaccination refusers
Sunday, 1. August 2021, 11.55:00: The regional bishop in the Protestant church district of Munich and Upper Bavaria, Christian Kopp, has expressed surprise at vaccination refusers. "It still goes? We are sitting here in one of the richest countries in the world and can make our contribution to getting this pandemic under control", Kopp said, according to the sermon manuscript, at an ecumenical service in Andechs on Sunday. Now that vaccine against Covid-19 is available, it is time to get started "not just for us, for everyone else".
Kopp advocated for greater sense of world responsibility. Who sees God as the creator of all life, must necessarily follow the words with deeds and work for the preservation of the planet and all living beings. In addition, the regional bishop promoted better cooperation among denominations. "Ecumenically, we need much more togetherness and much less togetherness", he said.
The service was the start of the "Summer Church". Abbot Johannes Eckert of Andechs also spoke at the service. More "summer churches- Places are among others the chapel Maria Schnee in Aidenried and the European chapel on the Jaudesberg. The goal of the August series is to hold church services "in enchanting places with a view of lakes, meadows and mountains," said Holetschek to celebrate, pastor Ulrich Haberl wrote in the announcement.
Health minister calls vaccination refusers "highly selfish
Saturday, 31. July 2021, 13.58 o’clock: Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) takes a hard line on vaccination refusers. "I think it is wrong and highly selfish to play the free rider when it comes to vaccinations and hope that everyone else will get vaccinated", he said on Friday during a visit to a special vaccination campaign in the district of Landshut, according to a press release.
"If everyone waited – and I don’t understand what some people are hoping for – we could wait a long time for the end of the pandemic, Holetschek added. With wait and see the end of the Corona pandemic is drawn out and that harms the people in the Free State. Everyone who can be vaccinated should do so, he said. Testing alone will not end the pandemic.
Those who are afraid of vaccination side effects should talk to their doctor about their concerns and get detailed advice. "Do not listen to scare stories from the medically ignorant, but talk to real professionals", said Holetschek. Anyone who questions that vaccination is the only effective way out of the Corona pandemic "is frighteningly uninformed".
He therefore appealed to people to get vaccinated. He said there are many creative ideas – from vaccination campaigns at sports clubs, marketplaces, shopping malls or restaurants. According to his data, almost 60 percent of the people in Bavaria have been vaccinated once, and almost every second person is fully protected. We may be on the right track, but we are still a long way from reaching our goal. With a view to the autumn, it is now necessary to "step on the gas".
Corona testing at daycare centers to continue in fall
Friday, 30. July 2021, 14.35 h: To continue to ensure the smoothest possible regular operations at Bavarian daycare centers, employees and children must continue to test themselves for Corona. As there is currently no vaccination option for children, testing is an important building block for safe kindergarten care, Social Minister Carolina Trautner (CSU) announced in Munich on Friday. Corona testing is tentatively scheduled to continue until 31. December continue.
The hygiene and protection concept has been successful so far, Trautner added. In recent months, less than one percent of the daycare centers in the Free State were affected by closures due to Corona; the current figure is 0.25 percent. Parents could also obtain antigen self-tests for their children from pharmacies in the new daycare year. The daycare centers issued a certificate of authorization for this purpose. Daycare workers also get two antigen self-tests per week.
Minister Trautner also appealed to the personal responsibility of parents. They should be vaccinated, because a vaccination is still the most effective means against the pandemic. In addition, families should get tested at a testing center after returning from vacation before the child goes back to daycare. Because every infection that is detected early protects other children and their families – and also prevents quarantines.
Medical experts in favor of new benchmarks alongside incidences
Wednesday, 28. July 2021, 17.08 a.m: Medical experts expect fewer patients in intensive care units during a fourth Corona wave than during the recent peak phase. He therefore pleads for a new assessment of the risk for the spread of corona beyond the mere seven-day incidences, said Stefan Kluge, board member of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), based in Munich, to the "RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland" (Tuesday). A flexible calculation of several indicators without an "abstract formula" is necessary.
Berit Lange, head of clinical epidemiology at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, said, "I understand that people want a tool that is as simple as possible." From an epidemiological point of view, however, it makes little sense to set limit values for incidences, because these would have to be adjusted again and again.
"It is more important to make decisions based on current assessments of the situation, taking into account various indicators", said Lange. In addition to incidence, which is the number of new infections per 100.If the number of vaccinated people is to be calculated in relation to a period of time, the R-value is needed, which allows a statement to be made about the future dynamics of the infections, the intensive care bed occupancy rate and the proportion of vaccinated people among the newly infected.
100.000 Corona infections possible each day
Sunday, 25. July 2021, 21.40 hrs: Chancellor’s Office Minister Helge Braun (CDU) believes it is possible that within about two months, the number of new daily infections could rise to 100.000 and the seven-day incidence will rise to a level of 850. Braun explained in the newspaper Bild am Sonntag: "If Delta were to continue spreading so rapidly and we did not counteract this with an enormously high vaccination rate or a change in behavior, we would have an incidence of 850 cases in just nine weeks. That would correspond to 100.000 new infections every day!"
But as long as the vaccines against the delta variant work well, a classic lockdown is no longer necessary, because the vaccinated and recovered no longer play a significant role in the infection process, Braun said. However, with a high fourth pandemic wave, sick leave would reach historic highs. "All unvaccinated contacts of the many infected would first have to be quarantined. The impact on work processes in companies would be massive", he said.
Bavaria’s Minister President Markus Soder (CSU) is pushing for rapid consultations among the heads of government of the German states. He demanded in the "Augsburger Allgemeine" (Monday) a "binding formula of incidence value, vaccination rate and occupied hospital beds to know at what point action needs to be taken – and what rights result for vaccinated people". In addition, he said, a nationwide uniform regulation for travelers returning to Germany must be adopted. Already for Tuesday he had invited his colleagues from the Union as a precaution to a switching conference.
On Sunday morning, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported for the past 24 hours 1.387 new Corona infections. The seven-day incidence rose to 13.8 from 13.6 the day before. In addition, four other people died in connection with the virus. According to the RKI, this brings the number of reported deaths to 91.524.
Holetschek welcomes Moderna release for 12- to 17-year-olds
Saturday, 24. July 2021, 16.52 p.m: Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) hopes for further vaccination progress in the Corona pandemic. The recommendation for approval of the Moderna vaccine for adolescents is a "groundbreaking decision", he said, according to the statement. Young people currently have highest seven-day incidence. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had previously recommended in Amsterdam the approval of Moderna’s vaccine for 12 to 17 year-olds. The final decision lies with the EU Commission.
"This shows us quite clearly that we should now focus more on young people when it comes to vaccination", said Holetschek. Because so far it is still unclear what the long-term consequences of a Corona infection are for children. "We owe it to children and adolescents to do our best to protect them as well", said the minister. He now hopes that the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) will also update its recommendation on vaccinating young people.
Andreas Gassen, Chairman of the Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (Kassenarztliche Bundesvereinigung), considers the Stiko’s approach of currently recommending Corona vaccination only for children and adolescents with certain pre-existing conditions to be "in line with the current data situation" for correct. "If the state of knowledge changes here, the Stiko will take that into account. However, this must not be a political decision but must remain a medical decision", underlined Gassen.
In May, the mRNA vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer had already been approved for children aged twelve years and older. The Stiko in Germany has not yet given a general recommendation for the vaccination of children over twelve years of age. She refers to a too thin data base. Only children with pre-existing conditions or other risk factors should be vaccinated. In addition, children appear to have a lower risk of becoming severely ill with corona.
Holetschek also wants to make progress on the subject of booster vaccination. "The pandemic has shown us that we have to act quickly, because the virus is also developing rapidly", he told the Evangelical Press Service on Friday. He is of the opinion "that also for preventive reasons a booster vaccination is meaningful at least for certain groups of persons".
Holetschek, who currently holds the chair of the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK), announced that he would advocate a uniform approach to this issue across Germany. He considers it "favorable, if the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) would also issue a recommendation in a timely manner. There needs to be robust data as soon as possible on when booster vaccination is necessary, he said.
Special campaigns for vaccination: Mobile offers throughout Germany
Friday, 23. July, 16.49 pm: Germany’s vaccination pace slows, though incidence rises again. With mobile vaccination stations as in Bremen or Berlin, an offer is now to be made to those who have not been reached so far. Because vaccines are available in abundance almost everywhere. In Bavaria, too, there are special campaigns on vaccination, for example in Munich, Augsburg or Nuremberg.
Health insurance company offers free telephone advice on Corona vaccination
Friday, 23. July, 14.1 p.m: The Barmer health insurance company has activated a free hotline for questions about the Corona vaccination. Until further notice, all interested parties in the Free State, including those not insured with Barmer, can ask their questions around the clock, the Barmer in Bavaria announced on Thursday.
"With the special hotline of the Barmer Teledoktor we would like to inform about the Corona vaccination and thus accompany the measures of the Bavarian State Ministry for Health and Care", said Claudia Wohler, Barmer’s national managing director.
For example, callers could be informed about what the risks and side effects of a Corona vaccination are, including what medical reasons should be avoided under any circumstances, or whether children could be vaccinated, it added.
More mothers than fathers have postponed working hours in the pandemic
Tuesday, 20. July, 14.11 p.m.: Home office and childcare difficulties have led to shifts in working hours to evenings and weekends in the Corona pandemic. This affected more women than men, according to surveys by the Institute for Employment Research at the Federal Employment Agency. "Mothers in particular were more likely to work weekends or evenings, in part to care for their children during school and daycare closures or during distance learning,", explained the researcher Corinna Frodermann on Tuesday in Nuremberg.
About 52 percent of mothers with children under 14 shifted at least some of their work hours to evenings or weekends when the pandemic began in April 2020, according to the institute. With fathers this had applied to approximately 31 per cent. The percentage for mothers dropped to about 26 percent by October 2020, according to the report, but was still significantly higher on average than for fathers at about 18 percent.
Overall, 33 percent of workers who had children under 14 to care for in April 2020 had shifted their work schedules at least some of the time, it said. Among those without children, it was 16 percent, he said.
More than one-third of those who worked from home at least some of the time reported working at different hours in April 2020 than they did before the pandemic, he said. Among employees who did not use a home office, it was just under 15 percent, he said. By October 2020, the percentages in both groups had fallen to about 18 as well as 5 percent, she said.
Data are based on a survey of workers in private sector companies with at least 50 employees. In April last year, 1.212, in June 909 and in October 682 persons participated.
Health Minister Holatschek: Health insurance companies should motivate vaccinations
Monday, 19. July, 10.25:00: Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) has called on health insurers to do more to encourage their policyholders to get a Corona vaccine. Many health insurers are already meeting their responsibilities by rewarding Corona vaccinations with bonus programs, the minister said in a press release Sunday. "But now we all need to step up to motivate even more people to get vaccinated", Holetschek emphasized. Because vaccinating is the way out of the pandemic, it says.
AWO welcomes government plans for more mobile vaccination teams
Saturday, 17. July, 10.12 p.m: The Bavarian state association of the Workers’ Welfare Association (AWO) welcomes the plans of the state government for the increased use of mobile vaccination teams. This way, the vaccine could be made available to as many people as possible, said the AWO in Munich. This would accommodate people in sparsely populated regions or with mobility restrictions.
Particularly for the residents in the care sector, some of whom have not yet been vaccinated, as well as those employed there, mobile vaccination teams are "a decisive factor in the fight against the pandemic", Said the two AWO state chairmen Nicole Schley and Stefan Wolfshorndl, according to the release. The more people are vaccinated, the better the whole society is protected.
Aiwanger rejects opening of discotheques only for vaccinated persons
Friday, 16. July 2021, 11.49 pm: Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters), does not want to support the plans of Minister President Markus Soder (CSU) to open discotheques only to those who have been vaccinated. Access to social areas should not be made dependent solely on a Corona vaccination, said the Free Voters leader of the "Augsburger Allgemeine" (Thursday). "It must not happen that in the end only vaccinated people can attend a wedding, get on a tour bus or go to the indoor swimming pool", said the deputy prime minister. "Then we get a two-class society." Soder had announced on Tuesday after the cabinet meeting to open clubs and discos from autumn possibly only for those fully vaccinated.
Aiwanger demanded instead for these ranges to ensure with rising incidences the entrance for all, which are inoculated, tested negatively or recovered. "The 3-G strategy, which allows access to the vaccinated, tested and recovered, is the better way to go here", said Aiwanger. In light of a slight increase in Corona illnesses and the spread of the Delta variant, he said, there is growing concern in parts of the retail and restaurant industries that new restrictions could be imposed in the fall.
Soder had also announced on Tuesday that vaccination refusers may have to pay for their Corona tests themselves in the future. Those who have an offer of vaccination but decline would then have to pay for their own testing, if necessary, instead of it being funded by the federal and state governments as it is now. This is currently under consideration.
Schwabach church congregation calls for relaxation of Corona rules for church services
Thursday, 15. July 2021, 10.58 o’clock: During the Corona crisis, the church council of the Protestant congregation of Schwabach-St. Gallen is calling for a significant relaxation of church services and congregational life. Martin in a resolution to the church leadership and the bishop of Bavaria. As executive pastor Paul-Hermann Zellfelder explained Wednesday, the current regulations are confusing and no longer comprehensible to people. His municipality is with approximately 8.500 members, around 600 volunteers and over 70 employees, the second largest in the territory of the regional church.
Criticized among other things that the church municipality may invite only 50 persons with church meetings into a hall, while in the same area with private causes by far more humans may come together. In addition, vaccinated persons and convalescents are not included in the upper limit for private events, but they are included in the upper limit for municipal events. The compulsory wearing of masks during church services and singing with masks are also not practicable. Contradictory is received that at a church service vaccinated and recovered are added to the upper limit of visitors in the churches, while, for example, a baptismal society is allowed to celebrate afterwards without restrictions.
The demands were deliberately kept short and not linked to concrete proposals, Zellfelder said. But the church board wanted to give a clear feedback from the base. "We are bombarded in the parish office by community groups who want to get going again and rightly can’t understand all the things that are not allowed parish-wide as opposed to other areas of public life", says the pastor.
Intensive care physician: End of Corona measures would be "incalculable risk"
Wednesday, 14. July 2021, 14.35 o’clock: The German Association of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) warns against a quick end to Corona measures in view of declining vaccination readiness. Further relaxation would be "incomprehensible from a medical point of view", said DIVI President Gernot Marx to the "Augsburger Allgemeine". This would create an "incalculable risk of masses of completely unnecessary infections," he said and possibly also severe courses.
The fact that there are few seriously ill patients in the United Kingdom despite high infection rates is correct. "But in Germany we still have millions of citizens who are not vaccinated", said Marx. Covid-19 remains an extremely life-threatening disease: "We cannot rule out the possibility that it could become serious again in the fall or winter." The risk of becoming severely ill or developing long-covid can only be avoided through vaccination, he said.
Corona vaccinations in swimming pools and fast food restaurants in the future
Tuesday, 13. July 2021, 4:16 p.m: The Bavarian cabinet is planning more low-threshold vaccination offers and has spoken out against a general vaccination obligation. The concept "Vaccination to go" provides for vaccination services in numerous places in everyday life, said Minister President Markus Soder (CSU) after a meeting of the Council of Ministers on Tuesday in Munich. For example, there should soon be vaccination offers in supermarkets and shopping malls, restaurants, fast food outlets, sports clubs, swimming pools and youth centers. Talks with the associations on the design are already underway, Soder said. In addition, there should be "family Sundays for vaccination" give "with an ice cream for the children".
The concept follows the motto "Who comes, gets"?, said the Prime Minister. It applies to address in particular the target group of the 16 to 30-year-olds, in order to increase the vaccination readiness again. The vaccination campaign is to be spiced up with younger role models, and there are also to be drive-in stations. Vaccination offers should also be made in mosques and cultural clubs, employment offices and job centers.
The cabinet spoke out against a general obligation to vaccinate. The round of ministers also rejected cash bonuses for those willing to be vaccinated. Instead, vaccinated people should have "more freedoms" Soder said.
"Vaccination is the path to freedom", said the prime minister. This also applies in particular to those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons, such as pregnant women: they are only protected if as many people as possible are vaccinated around them.
Debate continues on quick end to all Corona measures
Monday, 12. July 2021, 12:07 p.m: Numerous top politicians from the federal and state governments reject calls for an early end to all Corona measures. They thus oppose the demands of Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD), for example, who had pleaded for a quick end to the restrictions. Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD), for example, said that the decisive factor for the end of the measures was not whether every adult had received a vaccination offer, but the status of so-called herd immunity.
Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) said sonntagsblatt.Despite the current low incidence rates, the cabinet continues to expect mandatory masking and distance requirements. This will also be the case at the start of the school year still be so, he said sonntagsblatt.de with a view to the Bavarian summer vacations, which begin at the end of July and end at the beginning of September. Foreign Minister Maas had specifically mentioned August as the date for the end of all Corona restrictions.
Lambrecht told the "Augsburger Allgeminen" (Saturday), one must "still clearly further in the direction of herd immunity come", Before the end of all measures can be discussed: "The pandemic is not yet over." Children, for which there is still no approved vaccine and also adults with certain pre-existing conditions or pregnant women could currently just not protect themselves with a vaccination. Nevertheless, all remaining measures would have to be continuously reviewed for their proportionality.
Bundestag President Wolfgang Schauble (CDU) warned in the "Bild am Sonntag" In view of the spread of the delta variant, Bavaria’s health minister warns against a too careless approach to the Corona pandemic: "Anyone who behaves irrationally and does not take precautions exposes us all to the risk of a fourth wave"." Before risking having to close schools again, he is in favor of "continuing to wear masks indoors"."
SPD health politician Karl Lauterbach also warned against loosening the restrictions too quickly. "We must not make the mistake of opening up too much", he said to the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (Sunday). "Instead, we should go into the fall with as few trouble spots as possible. I would be particularly cautious about indoor meetings." He criticized the North Rhine-Westphalian state government for too much relaxation: "There are only recommended distances. There are no longer any upper limits for outdoor meetings. And the mask obligation is lifted in many areas."
Sunday, 11. July 2021, 08:27: Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) and Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) reject calls for an early end to all Corona measures. They place themselves thereby against demands for instance of SPD leader Saskia Esken or foreign minister Heiko Maas (SPD), which had pleaded for an end of the restrictions. Lambrecht said the decisive factor for the end of the measures is not whether every adult has received a vaccination offer, but the status of so-called herd immunity.
Bavaria’s Health Minister Holetschek told the Sonntagsblatt that despite the current low incidences, he still expects masks to be compulsory and distance requirements to apply. This will be "also at the beginning of the school year" still be so, he said with a view to the Bavarian summer vacations, which begin at the end of July and end in early September. Foreign Minister Maas had specifically brought August into play as a date for the end of all Corona restrictions.
Lambrecht told the "Augsburger Allgeminen" (Saturday), one must come still clearly further in the direction of herdimmunity", before discussing the end of all measures: "The pandemic is not yet over." Children, for whom there is not yet an approved vaccine, and adults with certain pre-existing conditions or pregnant women cannot currently protect themselves through vaccination.
Nevertheless, all remaining measures would have to be continuously reviewed for their proportionality. "It is a great success that thanks to the low infection figures and the progress in vaccination, most restrictions could already be lifted", said the SPD politician. This applies in particular to most of the restrictions that encroach deeply on basic rights.
Bavaria’s Health Minister Holetschek stressed that he had great understanding for the fact that people now wanted to go to their "long-selected vacation destinations. "Each and everyone must simply think carefully about the consequences that may have – up to and including quarantine upon return", said Holetschek. If you "big steps backwards" in the incidences after summer vacations "then also the testing for travelers plays a significant role".
Poll: Two-thirds of Bavarians support penalty for vaccination truants
Saturday, 10. July, 10 a.m: Nearly two-thirds of people in Bavaria would like it if Corona vaccination truants had to pay a fine. 43 percent in the Free State are of the opinion that someone who is absent without excuse from his vaccination appointment should be punished in any case, another 20.4 percent say "rather yes", informed BR24 on Friday. This was the result of a representative Civey survey for BR24.
30.5 percent of the people in Bavaria, however, rejected penalties for vaccination absenteeism in principle or rather, it is said further. 6.1 percent would have no clear opinion on the matter.
On the question of whether incentives could help the vaccination campaign regain momentum, people in Bavaria were skeptical. Only 6.3 percent believed in the success of a gift of money or a voucher, as the BR24 survey further revealed. Just under 30 percent, on the other hand, believed that the opportunity to travel without restrictions was still the most likely way to persuade vaccination hesitants to become immunized. About a quarter believed that this could be done by lifting the mask requirement. About 40 percent believed none of the incentives would help.
For the representative survey, the opinion research institute Civey collected the responses of 886 people on the subject of fines and 1.000 participants living in Bavaria on the subject of incentives considered.
Statistics: Corona was third leading cause of death in Bavaria in first wave
Friday, 9. July, 11.28 a.m: People in Bavaria were more likely to die of corona than heart attack in spring 2020. With 2.236 deaths, Covid-19 landed in third place among the most common causes of death in the first pandemic wave between March and June 2020, the state statistics office explained in an online press conference Thursday. 2 died of a heart attack.129 people. The two most common causes of death during the period were chronic ischemic heart disease – diseases of the coronary arteries (3.642) – and dementia (2.427).
According to the statisticians, between 10,000 and 12,000 people die each month in Bavaria.000 and 12.000 people. In April 2020 – i.e., at the peak of the first Corona wave – the number had increased by around 2.300 above the April average from 2016 to 2019, said death statistics officer Andrea Buschner. These additional deaths were primarily due to Covid-19, they said.
In total, according to preliminary figures, in the first Corona wave between March and June, 2.236 people in Bavaria died from Covid-19 and 369 people died with Covid-19, Buschner said. What the monthly death figures will look like in the more severe second wave of corona at the end of 2020 can only be said in detail in the fall, when the figures have been fully evaluated, Buschner added.
Thursday, 8. July, 10.41 pm: The dark figure unknowingly infected with the coronavirus is apparently much higher than previously suspected. A health study presented Wednesday by the University Medical Center Mainz concluded that 42 percent of those affected were unaware of their infection. According to projections by the researchers, this means that around 6.3 percent of the population had already been infected with the Sars-Cov-2 virus during the course of the pandemic, significantly more than previously assumed by the Robert Koch Institute.
For their "Gutenberg COVID-19 study" the researchers had collected health data over a period of months from about 10.000 representatively selected residents from the city of Mainz and the district of Mainz-Bingen between the ages of 25 and 88 years were surveyed. They also asked study participants about their attitudes toward anti-pandemic measures and the social and economic consequences of the pandemic. 140.000 questionnaires were evaluated.
The study aimed to clarify how widespread coronavirus infections actually are in the population, which population groups are particularly at risk, and which countermeasures make sense, explained Norbert Pfeiffer, Chairman of the Board of the University Medical Center: "Many questions could be answered. The data help to develop successful strategies."
The results of the study show how the prescribed measures have worked to contain the Corona crisis, explained Philipp Wild, epidemiologist and spokesman for the study management: "In the pandemic, we have not done so much wrong so far." For example, the data from study participants in Mainz and the surrounding area clearly showed that people who never or rarely observed the distance rules were at twice the risk of infection. Consistent wearing of masks and regular working from home also reduced the likelihood of becoming infected.
The Gutenberg study also finds evidence that older people in particular are often infected unnoticed. This apparent contradiction to the increased health and mortality risk for older Covid 19 patients can be explained by the fact that the immune system of older patients often does not react to the viruses as required. Similarly, the numbers provide clear evidence that women are significantly more likely than men to experience more severe side effects after coronavirus vaccination.
Rhineland-Palatinate’s Health Minister Clemens Hoch (SPD) announced plans to continue the study with EU funding. University Medicine will receive 1.5 million euros for this project. The evaluation of the data already collected has not yet been completed. The effects of the pandemic on general health and mental health are to be investigated.
Schools and daycare centers to remain open thanks to PCR tests and air filters
Wednesday, 7. July, 14.12 o’clock: The Bavarian state government wants to use air filters and PCR tests to keep schools and daycare centers in the Free State as open as possible from the fall, despite the delta corona variant. The Free State will provide more than 190 million euros for this purpose, the cabinet announced after its meeting on Tuesday. Half of the purchase costs for the mobile air purification devices are to be paid by the municipalities. Bavarian Association of Cities and Towns criticizes the move.
Education Minister Michael Piazolo (Free Voters) said after the cabinet meeting that the 190 million could be used by school and daycare providers to finance more than 100 percent of the costs.Equip 000 rooms. The state government attaches great importance to the fact that starting in the fall, despite the delta variant of the coronavirus, classroom instruction can take place. To make this possible, the Corona testing strategy at schools will also be expanded as a central pillar for safety in the coming school year, the minister explained.
The chairman of the Bavarian Association of Cities and Towns, the mayor of Straubing, Markus Pannermayr (CSU), said that the state government’s announcements would create "too high expectations" among parents, students and teachers raise "expectations that cannot be met quickly in practice". Mayors felt pressured by the "not yet clearly defined funding program of the Free State", he said. There is a risk of rashly buying unsuitable air filters.
Pannermayr also criticizes the fact that the Free State is avoiding the entire financing. The state government "deliberately does not want to trigger a case of connexity", he explained. That would mean: "Whoever buys, must also pay"." In addition, there are still many unanswered questions – for example, about the actual effectiveness of air filters, about their availability in large quantities, and also about procurement law: would large quantities have to be put out to tender throughout the EU??
Meanwhile, Minister Piazolo announced that PCR pool testing will be increasingly used in elementary schools. They would have a higher sensitivity compared to antigen self-tests. Pool testing, he said, is a cost- and resource-efficient option for serial testing with many subjects. They are also easier to use. Pooling requires only one PCR test, which is applied to all children’s saliva samples at the same time. Only if it is positive will individual retesting take place.
Ethicist Dabrock wants churches to help with vaccinations
Tuesday, 6. July, 13.41 pm: Social ethicist Peter Dabrock sees a moral obligation to get vaccinated against Covid-19. There is no legal obligation to do so, said the former chairman of the German Ethics Council on Tuesday in WDR5 "Morgenecho". However, because of the great benefits for vulnerable groups and the fact that there are almost no side effects across the board, he sees vaccination as a moral duty.
The ethicist and Protestant theologian from the Friedrich Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg argued that people should be told "things that are good and necessary, not with a moral finger" imposing them, but instead reminding them of the benefits and promoting them. "Children and young people have done so much for the older generations during the long period of the pandemic", reminded Dabrock.
Since no vaccine has been approved for children in Germany so far, older people could now protect the vulnerable group of children by getting as many vaccinated as possible. The ethicist and theologian explained that he would also like to see support from the churches and religious communities: "Vaccination as an expression of solidarity and charity. I think this is a clear statement that is scientifically well supported." Penalties, on the other hand, he considers "particularly unsuccessful" in this context. Instead, he said, people could be approached with vaccination offers in a much lower-threshold way.
Federal government rejects fines for Impfschwanzer
Tuesday, 6. July 2021, 9.43 o’clock: A good six months after the start of Corona vaccinations in Germany, some doctors and politicians are concerned about the willingness to vaccinate. From their ranks there are calls for more freedom for vaccinated people to create an incentive for immunization, and sanctions for those who miss a vaccination appointment without cancellation. The federal government reacts skeptically. There are no plans for fines, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday in Berlin.
On Monday, Bavaria’s Minister of Health Klaus Holetschek (CSU) had in the "World" sympathies for the demand for fines, as it had already become loud over the weekend. The president of the Berlin German Red Cross, Mario Czaja (CDU), told the Deutschlandfunk that in the Berlin vaccination centers in five to ten percent of the assigned appointments no one appears. A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Health said Monday, however, that there is no evidence that missing vaccination appointments without cancelling them is a widespread phenomenon.
Nevertheless, government spokesman Seibert also appealed to cancel a vaccination appointment if you can not or do not want to do it. Cancellation allows others to get an appointment and makes planning easier for staff at vaccination centers and practices. The nationwide DRK also spoke out against fines for failure to register. "We are relying on the voluntary nature and insight of those affected", President Gerda Hasselfeldt said.
The managing director of the association of cities and municipalities, Gerd Landsberg, warned in the case of fines in the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe (Tuesday) before a "bureaucracy monster". In the pandemic, people are "flooded" with prohibitions been. "You shouldn’t add to that", he said.
Instead, he called for more freedoms for vaccinated people, such as indoor restaurant visits or exceptions to quarantine rules after returning from abroad. Even vaccinated people currently have to go into quarantine if they return from a so-called virus variant area, i.e. a region with a high prevalence of a coronavirus mutant.
The chairman of the board of the Federal Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Andreas Gassen, demanded in the newspaper "Bild"-Newspaper (Monday) to end all Corona measures in September for those fully vaccinated, including mandatory masks, in an effort to increase vaccination readiness. The German government also reacted cautiously to this issue. The health ministry spokeswoman referred to a statement by Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), according to which this would be possible as soon as everyone in the population has received an offer of vaccination. This is currently not yet the case.
However, the president of the German Society for Immunology, Christine Falk, thinks even this timing is premature. The offer alone is not enough. "We must have a high number of vaccinated people to prevent the virus from spreading after all", she said on SWR. Even if 70 percent were vaccinated in September, the other 30 percent would be left to the risk of infection.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), almost 39 percent of the German population had been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Sunday inclusive. At least one vaccination dose received 56.5 percent. According to the RKI, in view of the more contagious delta variant, it is currently assumed that 80 percent of the population must be vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to achieve sustainable protection for all through the so-called herd immunity.
Churches warn against the use of nuclear weapons
Sunday, 4. July 2021, 18.49:00: The Corona pandemic has shown the absurdity of nuclear armament, according to Mainz Bishop Peter Kohlgraf. "The situation in poor countries is devastating, the virus is destroying borders, the climate changes are destroying the existence of many people, people are fleeing to save themselves and their families, hunger is increasing – but mankind is arming its weapons systems", he said at the fourth church day of action against nuclear weapons at the Buchel air base in the Eifel mountains. The last U.S. nuclear weapons in Germany are to be stored there.
This year’s day of action began with the ringing of the peace bell on the so-called peace meadow a few hundred meters from the main entrance of the air base and a minute of silence. The peace service, which this year was also streamed on the Internet, was attended by about 80 people. Due to pandemic requirements, the number of participants had been limited in advance to a maximum of one hundred. Last year, the day of action had to be completely virtual.
"Every year we remember the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, for example, whose future was destroyed,", emphasized Kohlgraf, who is also the president of the Catholic peace movement Pax Christi. "The weapons here in Buchel, should they find use, will destroy people", said the bishop. Then they destroy nature and permanently deprive many people of their livelihood or health. It is cynical to say that a final peace is a utopia and that it will only exist in heaven.
The church president of the Palatinate, Dorothee Wust, declared that there is no security in the presence of weapons. "For me, security consists in doing everything possible, with responsibility and the prudence of faith, to ensure that our children, too, will find a world in which they can live without fear, she said. The first step, he said, is to end weapons. "That is why we are here. To actually lull us into safety, certainty and confidence", emphasized Wust.
"We have promised that there will be no more wars on our soil", said Wust. "The presence of nuclear warheads in our country takes away much of the credibility of this promise." Not a single nuclear power has signed the treaty banning nuclear weapons, which has been in force since January. The arguments are always deterrence and fear.
The project group "Churches against Nuclear Weapons" had organized the fourth church action day invited. The group, formed on the initiative of the Baden Peace Ethics Forum in December 2017, has been calling for a day of action since 2018. It currently includes Christians from the Protestant regional churches in Baden, Bavaria, Hesse-Nassau, Kurhessen-Waldeck, the Palatinate, Westphalia, the Rhineland and Wurttemberg, as well as members of Pax Christi.
Holetschek in favor of cross-vaccinations
Saturday, 3. July 2021, 8.36 pm: The Bavarian Minister of Health Klaus Holetschek (CSU) wants to implement the recommendation of the Permanent Vaccination Commission (Stiko) for Corona cross-vaccinations as soon as possible. On a positive note, Holetschek, who is also chairman of the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK), stressed that the vaccination interval for cross-vaccinations – i.e. first vector vaccine such as Astrazeneca and then mRNA vaccine such as Biontech or Moderna – is being shortened to four weeks. The GMK had also decided to implement the Stiko recommendation in a video call.
Holetschek emphasized that it is also important to clearly state that cross-vaccination is highly effective. About the way in which the Stiko gave its recommendation, he showed up dissatisfied however. The communication of the Stiko on this topic is "with respect suboptimal" been, he said on Friday the radio station Bayern 2.
The Stiko had surprisingly recommended a so-called cross-vaccination on Thursday: Those who have received Astrazeneca once should receive one of the two mRNA vaccines in the second vaccination. In the opinion of the Stiko, the time interval between the two doses can also be shortened. Twelve weeks between two Astrazeneca doses is actually recommended for the best possible protection.
Holetschek said that they are now in dialogue with the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians and the vaccination centers in order to implement the recommendation of the Stiko. Above all special actions would come into consideration. Cross-vaccination could also be offered to patients in hospitals if the second vaccination with an mRNA vaccine could be provided on an outpatient basis. Still, Holetschek expects delays in face of vaccine shortage.
Because mRNA vaccines from Biontech and Moderna, which are now to be used for a second vaccination of Astrazeneca first vaccinated, were missing for new first vaccinations, said Holetschek Bavaria 2. At the moment, because of the delta variant of the Coronavirus "the completion of the vaccination (. ) the most important thing.". Accordingly, "for a while there may be fewer initial vaccinations with Biontech and Moderna".
According to Holetschek, there are for next week in Bavaria 136.000 appointments for a second vaccination with Astrazeneca, the following week 28.000. "We assume that many vaccinees will want a second vaccination with an mRNA vaccine." Vaccination centers have been asked to take this into account in their planning.
The Bavarian Association of Family Physicians and the Bavarian State Association of the Professional Association of Pediatricians and Adolescents awarded the Stiko the "health policy lemon of the month" on Friday for its communication on cross-vaccination. "With this uncoordinated initiative, the Stiko has caused chaos in our practices – and not for the first time", said the Bavarian GP association head Markus Beier: "Where should the mRNA vaccine for the second vaccinations for several weeks come from overnight?"
Holetschek went on to say that there are still other unanswered questions, such as about booster vaccinations. The GMK will discuss the issue next week, and he therefore called on the Stiko to take action: "Now we urgently need reliable statements from the federal government and the Standing Commission on Vaccination on the need for booster vaccinations and the required distance from basic immunization."
Friday, 02. July 2021, 08:44: A majority of 62 percent of Germans fear a new wave of corona infection. About the same number of Germans (64 percent) are very or extremely concerned about new variants of the coronavirus, such as the so-called delta mutation, according to an ARD survey published in Cologne on Thursday. The Infratest dimap institute surveyed for the ARD "Deutschlandtrend from Monday to Wednesday of this week 1.317 eligible voters.
According to the survey, Germans are by far the most concerned about the situation of children: 79 percent of eligible voters and 89 percent of parents with school-age children fear impairments in the development of children due to the restrictions on school and childcare services in recent months.
Around eight out of ten Germans (84 percent of all respondents and 80 percent of parents) are therefore in favor of installing air filtration systems in classrooms for the period after the summer vacations. Three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents and 71 percent of parents are in favor of maintaining two Corona tests per week, while only 37 percent of all respondents and only 27 percent of parents of school-age children are in favor of retaining the mask requirement.