Immune status of Germans: Streeck study should provide clarity

Hendrik Streeck

The virologist wants to survey 16,500 citizens online about previous vaccinations and corona diseases as well as any skepticism about vaccination.

(Foto: imago images/Future Image)

Berlin A new study led by Bonn virologist Hendrik Streeck is expected to find out the immune status of Germans against corona infections by mid-September. This should enable targeted vaccination campaigns for groups with low immunity before the winter wave.

At the presentation of the study, Federal Research Minister Bettina Stark-Watzinger (FDP) said: “The Covid 19 pandemic is not over yet. The summer wave that is building up reminds us to prepare well for autumn and winter.

Stark-Watzinger recalled the beginning of the pandemic: At that time, for example, it was not yet clear that older people were particularly vulnerable. Now they wanted to try to find groups that have particularly few antibodies. The Federal Ministry of Research is funding the study, which is being carried out as part of the University Medicine Network founded in spring 2020, with three million euros.

Regarding the specific procedure, Streeck explained that starting next week, 16,500 citizens selected by the Dimap survey institute will be asked online about previous vaccinations and corona diseases as well as their possible skepticism about vaccination. In addition, they receive a lab kit to send in a drop of blood, which is then tested for antibodies.

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The surveys are based on adults who have agreed to take part in studies in connection with the use of a payback card. In addition, the data of 13,000 children from other existing studies will be integrated, so that a total of almost 30,000 people would be recorded, according to Streeck.

Streeck study is intended to build a bridge to the RKI panel

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) had previously warned that 40 million people would have to be vaccinated either for the first time or again by winter, thereby agreeing with statements by virologist Christian Drosten. “In winter we have to be very well prepared, otherwise chaos threatens,” said Lauterbach. Streeck said he didn’t know how the two of them came up with the figure of 40 million.

In a “Spiegel” interview, Drosten said that old people should generally be vaccinated four times. “We should also make full use of the framework that exists in Germany for child vaccinations, which is far from being the case. All others should be at least three times and, if desired, four times vaccinated.”

The immunity study led by Streeck is also intended to build a bridge to the panel planned by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), which is currently being set up. This should make it possible to repeatedly ask the same groups of citizens about certain health data, so that observation over time is possible.

More. The situation on Friday: RKI registered 108,190 new corona infections – incidence at 618