Corona Weekly Report: How well vaccination still protects – and against what (not) – knowledge

Vaccination continues to protect the elderly, especially from severe disease progression due to Covid-19. Photo: dpa / Ole Spata

The number of corona infections continues to decrease. Therefore, the greatest attention is paid to autumn – and vaccinations. RKI provides new performance data.

The corona summer wave is receding. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the number of confirmed new infections is across all age groups decreased by a quarter compared to last week, for schoolchildren 40 percent. Although the national incidence is over 400, it can be assumed that there are many unreported cases. But the trend is clear and is slowly coming to hospitals, where fewer people have been treated for coronary disease recently. This is urgently needed because there is a shortage of workers due to corona.

Therefore, the greatest attention is paid to autumn and the question of how long the number of infections will decrease. The current downturn appears to be strongly supported by the holiday season. The fact that the clinics are not overcrowded is due to vaccination protection and less difficult courses due to the omicron variant. This is shown by RKI data filed on Thursday.

New data on vaccination against the coronavirus

The institute shows that those who have been vaccinated with the basic vaccine are much better protected against hospital treatment for the coronavirus than those who have not been vaccinated, and those who have received the triple vaccine are even better. This is even more true the older the infected individuals are. However, the proportion of people over 60 who received the double increase varies widely across the federal states. The highest – in Schleswig-Holstein – 44 percent, the lowest – in Thuringia – almost nine percent.

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The omicron variant has also consistently reduced the risk of hospitalization for Covid-19 in unvaccinated people. But at low levels, unvaccinated people are still three to five times more at risk than those who have been vaccinated three times, according to the RKI. Vaccines used to date offer only very limited protection against infection caused by Omicron’s immune response. RKI international research reportsthat booster vaccination against symptomatic omicron infection provides 44 to 65 percent protection for up to three months.

It could go on like this

That may change with the Omicron-tailored vaccine expected in September—provided a new variant doesn’t spread in the fall. The omicron subtype BA.5 is currently dominant. Until now, waves of infection have always been caused by new mutations. Omicron increased the number of infections due to the rapid decrease in protection against infections, and most of the restrictions were removed. To what extent the current significant increase in the number of second revaccinations can slow down the expected significant increase in the number of infections in the fall is a big question at the moment.

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