News about Corona from March 28, 2023
WHO does not recommend any further corona booster vaccinations for “medium” risk
March 28, 11:51 p.m.: The World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend any further corona booster vaccinations for adults with “medium” risk. For this population group – if they have received their basic immunization and a booster dose – the benefit of another vaccination is low, the WHO vaccination experts explained on Tuesday.
The UN Health Organization’s Advisory Expert Group on Immunization (SAGE) issued updated recommendations after its regular bi-annual meeting. The population was classified into the risk groups “high”, “medium” and “low” according to the risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid or dying from it.
Accordingly, additional booster vaccinations are only recommended for people at “high risk” – such as the elderly, people with previous illnesses such as diabetes, people with immune deficiency diseases such as HIV, pregnant women and medical staff.
According to the WHO, healthy adults under the age of 60 and children and adolescents with a “medium risk” do not need a booster vaccination. However, booster vaccinations do not pose a risk for them either. Healthy children and adolescents fall into the group with the lowest risk.
Last Corona-Entry rules expire at Easter
Tuesday March 28, 2023 6:33 am: The already largely relaxed corona rules for those returning from vacation when entering Germany will no longer apply at Easter. In view of the more relaxed pandemic situation, the corresponding regulation expires on April 7th, as the Federal Ministry of Health announced on request. Most recently, at the beginning of the year, due to a wave of infections in China, there was a temporary test requirement for travelers from there. To this end, the ordinance created a new category of areas in which, according to the federal government’s classification, “a worrying virus variant threatens to occur”.
Entry requirements that used to apply, with 3G proof of vaccinated, recovered or tested people, have long since disappeared. As a basic “emergency brake”, rules for areas in which new corona variants occur. According to the applicable regulation, those arriving from there must go into a 14-day quarantine in Germany, even if they are vaccinated or have recovered. Apart from the temporary admission of China, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has not included a country classified as a “virus variant area” for months.
On April 7th, other remaining Corona regulations will also end. The last nationwide requirements in the Infection Protection Act, which currently still regulate a mask requirement for visits to health care facilities, are expiring.
Bavaria is expanding the offer of help for people with corona vaccination damage
Monday, March 27, 04:08: Bavaria wants to expand its offers of help for people with vaccination damage after a corona vaccination and will soon offer a telephone hotline for those affected. Even if the vaccination rarely causes health problems, every citizen who has problems after a corona vaccination must be helped, said the Bavarian Minister of Health Klaus Holetschek (CSU) of the “Augsburger Allgemeine” (Monday).
Bavaria will therefore set up a hotline that does not offer individual medical help, but can provide clarification options. “Overall, persistent health problems caused by the Covid 19 vaccination are very rare,” said Holetschek. “So the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.” Longer-term consequences of a corona infection are much more common than vaccination damage.
RKI: New Corona subline “Arcturus” also detected in Germany
Sunday, March 26, 9:17 a.m.:The Corona subline XBB.1.16, much discussed under the name “Arcturus”, has only rarely been documented in Germany. In the period from January 30th to March 12th, six pieces of evidence were sent, as the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced in its weekly Corona report. However, only a few samples are examined for variants in Germany.
Reports from India in particular have caused a stir in the past few days. “In India, a growing proportion of this subline has recently been seen, parallel to an increase in the Covid 19 incidence there,” wrote the RKI. In the past few weeks, XBB.1.16 has been detected in various countries.
According to the RKI, the subline is characterized by three additional mutations in the so-called spike protein. The RKI did not comment on a possible influence of these changes on the severity of the disease or infections. However, experts warn against panic, as there is still hardly any reliable data.
“Arcturus” is a subline of the omicron recombinants XBB.1, which are now dominant in Germany. Expected for Germany RKI in the coming weeks further increasing shares of XBB.1 sublines. For the subline XBB.1.5, which is currently prevalent in Germany, preliminary data do not indicate an increased severity of the disease.
Corona-Warnapp is scheduled to go into “sleep mode” in early June
4:43 p.m.: The federal corona warning app, which has been used millions of times, is to go into “sleep mode” at the beginning of June in view of the more relaxed pandemic situation. The warning function for other users of the app should still be able to be used until April 30th after a positive test, as the Federal Ministry of Health announced on Friday on request. In the month of May, the systems should then be prepared to put certain functions into “sleep mode” on June 1st. Regular updates of the app should be avoided. But you can keep them on your cell phone, for example to continue using electronic vaccination certificates.
If the situation changes again, the app can be “awakened” from sleep mode and adjusted in a timely manner, said a spokesman. According to the ministry, the application was installed more than 48 million times on end devices, and almost nine million people shared positive test results to warn other users. The current contracts with the service providers SAP and T-Systems end on May 31st.
Lauterbach open to commission of inquiry on Corona– Politics
Friday, March 24, 6:40 a.m.: Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach has shown himself open to an inquiry commission called for by the FDP and the Union to review the corona policy. “I really agree with every decision. And if there were such a commission, we would also take part,” said Lauterbach in the podcast of the news portal “The Pioneer” (Friday). As a minister, however, it is not up to him to decide on the establishment of such a commission. He therefore wanted to wait and see how the Bundestag decides, he said accordingly.
The SPD politician also admitted “that in retrospect one or the other path that was taken at the time would be taken differently”. However, the accusation that the state deliberately misinformed citizens or withheld information from them is “a robber’s gun from the camp of lateral thinkers”.
In order to set up a commission of inquiry, a quarter of the deputies must agree. They are made up of representatives and experts from science and practice.
Corona-Vaccinations should remain free of charge on a broader front
Wednesday, March 22, 12:04 p.m.: The corona vaccinations in Germany are to be transferred to regular health care at Easter. From April 8th, vaccinations should be possible free of charge on a broader front, according to a draft regulation by the Federal Ministry of Health. In the future, the framework for the right to vaccinations should be a technical guideline based on the recommendations of the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko). However, vaccinations should also be possible at health insurance costs if it “is considered medically necessary by a doctor”. The previous rules on vaccination entitlements for everyone expire on April 7th.
According to the draft, it should be ensured that there is a high level of immunity in the population beyond the vaccinations provided for in the directive. A “continuous, more comprehensive range of vaccinations based on medical indications and individual risk-benefit assessment” could, with the prevailing Omikron variant, help to avoid overburdening the healthcare system in the coming autumn and winter. “This is especially true as immunity decreases after vaccination or infection.”
According to the stipulations in the vaccination directive alone, vaccination claims would depend on whether you have previous illnesses, belong to certain age and professional groups – or whether health insurance companies allow it, it is said to justify the planned more extensive regulation.
Biden wants to publish secret information about Corona
Tuesday, March 21, 07:35: US President Joe Biden has signed legislation releasing intelligence information on the origin of the coronavirus. He shares Congress’ goal of releasing as much information as possible about the origin of the virus, Biden said Monday. The aim is to be able to better prevent future pandemics. When published, however, no information would be disclosed that could endanger national security.
Congress had passed a corresponding law about a week and a half ago. There is reason to believe that the corona pandemic originated in a laboratory in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, the text said. Therefore, the US intelligence coordinator should release “as much information as possible” about the origin of the virus and make it available to the public. However, it initially remained unclear what information the government would release and when.
According to the latest information from the White House, there is still no unanimous opinion in the US government about the origin of the virus. Some US agencies, including the FBI, remain of the opinion that the virus was probably transmitted naturally, while others are undecided or assume a laboratory glitch.
The end of the state vaccination campaign in the state of Bremen is imminent
Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 3:02 p.m.: The state vaccination campaign against the corona virus in the state of Bremen will end in the next few days. In the city of Bremen, the last vaccinations will be carried out this Friday, in Bremerhaven on Tuesday. The health department of the two-city state announced this in a statement on Friday. The vaccination campaign began on December 27, 2020 in a nursing home. More than 1.1 million vaccinations were administered in the state campaign.
“Large, high-performance vaccination centers, smaller vaccination centers in the districts and mobile offers in the districts: that was the key to our success,” said Bremen’s Health Senator Claudia Bernhard (left). The Bremen vaccination campaign has set nationwide standards, according to the department’s statement. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal state has the highest proportion of people with basic immunization nationwide at 88.3 percent.
In the past, it caused a sensation that the adult vaccination rate in the country rose to over 100 percent. The RKI explained the fact that people who do not live in Bremen are also recorded in the statistics who have been vaccinated there – such as seafarers or commuters.
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