Berlin (dpa) – The health ministers of the federal states want to advise on the corona vaccination offer for young people today. Under a proposal from the Federal Ministry of Health, 12 to 17-year-olds should receive such an offer in all states. This is apparent from a motion for a resolution.
In May, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved Biontech/Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children and adolescents aged 12 and above, and Moderna was approved a few days ago. For Germany, despite intense political pressure, the Permanent Vaccination Commission (Stiko) has so far only recommended vaccination for children and adolescents with certain pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or obesity, who are at increased risk of a severe course.
Vaccination campaigns planned in schools
“All countries will now offer vaccinations for 12 to 17-year-olds in the vaccination centers,” the ministry writes in the proposed resolution sent to the states. General practitioners and company doctors who have vaccinated family members may also be involved. In some countries, for example, vaccination campaigns are already planned in schools. Classes will resume on Monday after the summer holidays in Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and on Thursday in Hamburg.
For young adults, according to Monday’s motion for a resolution, states should make “low-threshold offers” to universities, vocational schools and schools. “This can make an important contribution to a safer start to teaching and learning after the summer holidays.”
“There is a question”
Baden-Württemberg Health Minister Manne Lucha (Greens) advocates vaccinations for young people. There was also approval from Saxony-Anhalt. Incumbent Health Minister Petra Grimm-Benne (SPD) of Saxony-Anhalt told the German news agency: “The demand is there.” The country is already planning special vaccination campaigns for adolescents. Criticism came from the FDP. “If the health ministers change the vaccination advice to the Stiko, it would be tantamount to powerlessness,” said Andrew Ullmann, chairman of the FDP in the Bundestag’s health committee, the “Tagesspiegel”.
Another topic for health ministers should be booster vaccinations. For certain groups, the Federal Ministry of Health will propose appropriate vaccinations from September. Especially in the case of immunocompromised, very old and in need of care, research results indicate reduced or rapidly declining protection after vaccination. According to the draft, the federal states should therefore send mobile vaccination teams to healthcare institutions, among other things. People with immune deficiency or in home care should therefore get a booster vaccination from their doctor. These vaccinations should be performed with one of the two mRNA vaccines, ie with the products from Biontech/Pfizer and Moderna.
More awareness campaigns
Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) spoke out in favor of a booster vaccination. However, “clear and unbureaucratic guidelines” are needed to determine which group should go first. That requires reliable statements from the federal government and the Permanent Vaccination Commission, he told the dpa.
Meanwhile, Green health politician Janosch Dahmen has called for more vaccine awareness campaigns and “everyday solutions”. “There is clearly a lack of convincing, target-group-specific information campaigns, more mobility of the vaccine, so vaccination cans, and a corona warning app that warns people about spontaneous vaccination offers in the area,” he told the “Rheinische places” (Monday). “It requires a creative drive and better information offers, good arguments and solutions that are suitable for everyday use”.
Personal contributions also in the debate
The leader of the SPD, Rolf Mützenich, does not rule out disadvantages for unvaccinated people. “Private providers can of course grant benefits to those who have been vaccinated or recovered. However, government agencies should offer their services equally to everyone, although hygiene concepts or, in the future, personal contributions to tests could also lead to disadvantages for unvaccinated people,” he told the “Rheinische Post”.