Dhe spread of the even more easily transmissible omicron subtype BA.2 in Germany has continued. According to the most recent data available for the week before last, their share in a sample was around 72 percent, down from around 64 percent previously, according to the weekly report by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) on Thursday evening. Currently, the variant is therefore likely to have an even larger share in the infection process. Meanwhile, the role of the previously dominant omicron sublineage BA.1 is diminishing.
For the past calendar week, the RKI stated that more than 1.5 million corona cases had been reported for the first time. BA.2 is considered a driver of the current infection process – in addition to easing and changes in behavior among the population, as the authors of the report suspect. They emphasized how important it is that larger parts of the population continue to behave prudently – and underlined the benefits of the vaccination despite Omikron. “Due to its high effectiveness against a severe course, the vaccination has not lost its importance even in diseases caused by the omicron variant,” it said.
Boosters for older extremely important
The RKI puts the estimated effectiveness of the booster vaccination in terms of hospital admission for people aged 60 and over who are considered particularly at risk at 87 percent. With only one basic immunization, it is 75 percent in this age group. On Twitter, the institute added that full vaccination and, above all, boosters protected very well against severe disease and death. In addition, the severity of the disease is generally lower in the case of infection after vaccination.
In particular, risk groups and people over the age of 70 called on the RKI to protect themselves against a serious illness with a second booster vaccination, in accordance with the recommendation of the Standing Vaccination Commission – which had already been pronounced at the beginning of February. Around 1.67 million people have used it so far, according to the report.
Although the incidences were particularly high in people aged 5 to 44 last week, the strongest increase was observed in seniors aged 75 to 79, it said. Outbreaks in retirement and nursing homes have increased in recent weeks. “The increase in severe disease progression particularly affects the 80+ age group.”