Representative Image

German health minister recommends 4th COVID-19 dose for under 60s

Jul 16, 2022

Berlin [Germany], July 16: Germany's Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach on Friday recommended a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose for people under the age of 60, contradicting the advice from a relevant national commission.
Germany's Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) recommends a second COVID-19 booster shot with a mRNA vaccine, such as the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna, only to people aged over 70, residents in care facilities, people with immunodeficiency and medical staff.
"If someone wants to enjoy the summer and not run the risk of getting ill, then I would recommend vaccination even to younger people in consultation with their family doctor," Lauterbach told the Spiegel magazine.
A vaccine adapted to Omicron is expected to come out in late August or early September, but Lauterbach said people who are aged 60 and over "should definitely not wait for the new vaccine," as the protection they need against serious illness or death is already provided by the current vaccines.
Of the 69.4 million adults in Germany aged 18 and older, around 85 percent are vaccinated against COVID-19. About 72 percent have received one booster vaccination, while almost 9 percent have received two booster doses, according to official figures.
Although Germany is hit by a COVID-19 summer wave, its vaccination campaign remains slow. "It must not be forgotten that the most important and effective measure is and remains vaccination," said the chairman of the German association of general practitioners, Ulrich Weigeldt, who called for a renewed vaccination campaign last week.
The country's seven-day COVID-19 incidence rate on Friday stood at around 720 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, after around 700 last week, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases.
Since the beginning of June, the number of cases has been rising steadily. "We will have a very difficult fall," Lauterbach warned.
Source: Xinhua