VAt the start of the cold season, Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) encouraged vulnerable groups in particular to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Vaccination is the best protection against serious diseases, Lauterbach said Monday in Berlin after receiving a booster shot at a Bundeswehr hospital. A corona vaccine adapted to the new variants is available in Germany from Monday.
Those recommended for booster vaccination include people over 60 and people with risk factors or underlying health conditions, Lauterbach explained. He and acting president of the Robert Koch Institute Lars Schaade also recommended further voluntary protective measures such as wearing masks, self-testing for coronavirus and for people to stay home for three to five days if they have a respiratory illness. “During the pandemic, we learned what it means to be considerate of each other,” Lauterbach explained.
Schaade reported that almost only viruses of the XBB sublineage are currently circulating in Germany. There is currently no international evidence that these variants are associated with more severe forms of the disease. The number of respiratory diseases and coronary infections has been increasing in Germany for several weeks. But this year this is not something unusual, he emphasized. Lauterbach and Schaade were reluctant to make any forecasts for the fall and winter. It is impossible to estimate how many workers will be absent due to illness, Lauterbach said.
There could be many of them because, after years of the pandemic, this is the first fall in which there are no restrictions on contact, mandated testing or rules on wearing masks, he added. Lauterbach said there is broad immunity in the population. “Based on what we know at the moment, we do not need any measures in terms of limiting contact.”
Source: Frantfurter Allgemeine
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