The seven-day incidence continues to rise in Germany – for three and a half weeks now. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Saturday morning, it is currently 16.9. On Friday, the RKI initially calculated a value of 17.0, but later corrected it to 16.5. Within one day, the health authorities reported 2,400 new corona infections to the RKI – a week ago it was 1919. 21 other deaths were also counted. According to the official census, a total of 91,658 people in Germany fell victim to the pandemic. (07/31/2021)
Hospital company designs mix of corona indicators
In order to be able to better assess the corona pandemic in view of the vaccination progress, the German Hospital Society (DKG) advocates a new mix of different indicators. The previously relevant seven-day incidence is only one of a total of twelve indicators, as reported by the editorial network Germany, referring to the concept presented to it. Other key figures include the rate of positive tests, the vaccination rate and the clinic occupancy by Covid-19 sufferers, as well as factors that capture the dynamics of what is happening.
“With this matrix, it is easy to see at a glance what the current pandemic situation really is and what trends and connections there are,” said DKG boss Gerald Gaß. “Politicians must finally act and define a mix of indicators, also in order to gain acceptance among the population for measures against Corona through this transparency.” Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) has long been urging that key figures other than incidence should also be taken into account when assessing the situation. From the point of view of the Robert Koch Institute, this number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week remains the most important early warning value. (07/31/2021)
Study: cross vaccination is more effective
The combination of a vaccination with Astra Zeneca and Biontech / Pfizer products is more effective than vaccination with Astra Zeneca alone, according to a study. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich, the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the University Hospital Erlangen and the University Hospital Cologne examined the immune reaction as part of a retrospective study published in the specialist journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases appeared.
According to the researchers, the blood of around 500 test persons was analyzed for this, who had received a second vaccination with the mRNA vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer eight to twelve weeks after their first vaccination with the vaccine from Astra Zeneca. “The neutralizing antibody response was much more pronounced in these test subjects than in people who received the Astra Zeneca vaccine twice,” said the Erlangen University Hospital. The immune response to the combination vaccination was at least as good as the antibody response after two vaccinations with Biontech.
The researchers come to the conclusion that the combination vaccination can also be used in the event of individual intolerance or supply shortages. The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) surprisingly announced at the beginning of July that people who had received a first dose of the corona vaccine from Astrazeneca should receive an mRNA vaccine such as that from Biontech or Moderna as a second syringe, regardless of age. (07/30/2021)
Günther: Corona tests have to cost money
Schleswig-Holstein’s Prime Minister Daniel Günther has asked the federal government to charge for corona tests as soon as possible. The federal government should give a specific date for this in the coming week, around September 20. “Until then, everyone who has not yet been vaccinated would still have the chance to be fully vaccinated,” said the CDU politician world.
The tests should only remain free of charge for people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or because of their age, such as pregnant women or children. According to the state government in Kiel, the costs for a rapid antigen test by trained staff are currently 20 to 30 euros, depending on the provider.
Günther ruled out another lockdown. “Because of the high vaccination rate, but also in view of the situation in the hospitals, there is no longer any reason for that.” Shops, restaurants, kindergartens, schools and fitness studios remained open. However, in view of the increasing number of infections in the autumn, he expects increased testing obligations for unvaccinated people. “In this respect, too, it should make sense to get vaccinated until then.” (07/30/2021)
Increased corona cases reported after travel
Corona infections, which probably happened while traveling, are playing an increasing role in the infection process in Germany, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). This is what the RKI writes in its weekly status report on Thursday evening. In the period from June 28 to July 25, 3,662 cases were reported in which those affected were probably exposed to the virus abroad. The most likely countries of infection in the four weeks considered were Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands, ahead of Croatia and Greece.
The majority of corona transmissions continue to take place within Germany, emphasizes the RKI – we are talking about at least 81 percent. Information on the likely country of infection is by no means available in every case. According to the report, virus variants classified as worrying are predominant in Germany and other European countries. In this country, the significantly more contagious delta variant is now found in a random sample in around nine out of ten cases (91 percent). (07/30/2021)
Pharmacies: Vaccination certificates are gradually available again
The first pharmacies in Germany are issuing digital corona vaccination certificates again after an interruption. The service for vaccinated people will gradually be started again, as announced by the Federal Association of German Pharmacists’ Associations (ABDA). However, if you want to have the certificate, you should find out which pharmacy you can go to for this purpose on the website www.mein-apothekenmanager.de. It is expected that the vast majority will be reconnected to the necessary system in the coming days, said a spokesman for the pharmacy association.
A good week ago, the German Pharmacists Association (DAV) stopped issuing digital certificates after consulting the Federal Ministry of Health. The reason was evidence of a security vulnerability. To the Handelsblatt it was therefore possible to generate guest access for a non-existent pharmacy owner “with the help of professionally forged documents” on the DAV server, with which two vaccination certificates were then issued online. Now all accesses have been verified, according to the pharmacists’ association. Technical steps for more security have also been implemented. (07/29/2021)
Seehofer: Corona tests should remain free
Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) is against making corona tests for unvaccinated people chargeable soon. “As long as the pandemic lasts, I wouldn’t change anything about the free of charge. I want those who have neither vaccinated nor recovered the chance of the test,” said Seehofer Central Bavarian Newspaper. “How many people do you think can no longer do or do the test if it is not free of charge? This could lead to a hidden infection process,” he warned.
Seehofer opposed the deliberations of Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD), Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) and also the CSU leader and Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder. They had recently advocated no longer paying publicly for corona tests in the long term – if everyone who can be vaccinated has received a vaccination offer.
Seehofer strictly rejects compulsory vaccination by companies for their employees. “I have a very allergic reaction when someone says: If you are not vaccinated, you will no longer be employed by us. Or because you are not vaccinated, you will not get any health or life insurance. I can only warn you urgently.” He himself could “only advertise that you get vaccinated”, said Seehofer and emphasized: “The vaccination helps. To date, it is the best protection against a potentially fatal disease.” But one shouldn’t force it: “You don’t need a babble of voices every day, which threatens everything on the horizon if people don’t get vaccinated.” (29.07.2021)
Intensive care physicians fear an increase in viral pathogens in addition to Corona
Intensive care physicians in Germany expect more people with various respiratory diseases again in autumn and winter. “By wearing masks and the other rules, the number of patients with flu and other viral pathogens during the Corona period was vanishingly low,” said the President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (Divi), Gernot Marx German press agency. “We fear that this positive effect will now disappear and that we will look after the potential corona patients between October and March as well as the other patients with viral diseases.”
The number of patients is difficult to estimate, even before the Corona period, the values fluctuated from season to season. “But it is clear that flu and Covid-19 patients may need the same therapies, for example the artificial lung. The Ecmo capacity (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; editor’s note) in Germany is very good in an international comparison, but every capacity has its limits. “According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), older people and those with certain basic diseases or severe obesity have an increased risk of a more severe course of flu pregnancy, especially at an advanced stage, increases this risk.
In an autumn-winter strategy for inpatient and outpatient care, the RKI recently warned early preparation “for an increased disease occurrence”, “also in view of the additional exposure to be expected from acute respiratory infections”, which will not be in the 2020/21 season the population are circulated. In addition to the flu, the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is also mentioned, a pathogen that is widespread worldwide and which, according to the RKI, can cause simple respiratory infections as well as serious illnesses. (29.07.2021)
Half of the people in Germany are fully vaccinated against Corona
A good seven months after the start of the corona vaccinations, half of the population in Germany is fully vaccinated against the virus. How out current data from the Federal Ministry of Health shows, after the vaccinations from the previous day, 41,790,697 people have complete vaccination protection, for which two doses several weeks apart are required for most vaccines. According to the ministry, this corresponds to 50.2 percent of the total population. (07/28/2021)