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Expert advises not to wait for omicron vaccine

For the fourth vaccination, do not wait for the Omicron vaccine

Munich. The Munich corona expert Clemens Wendtner warns to prepare quickly for the fourth corona vaccination – with the available vaccines. “For me, a fourth vaccination four to six months after the third vaccination would be an adequate measure,” said the chief physician of infectiology at the Munich Clinic Schwabing of the dpa. At the same time, however, he pointed out that due to a lack of data there is still no recommendation from the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) for a fourth vaccination. It is often said that one wants to wait for the adapted Omikron vaccine. “But I’m afraid that will take too long,” said Wendtner. New vaccines are not to be expected before April – but the Omicron wave is now rolling in. “You have to prepare a four-vaccination campaign now, also based on the availability of the currently approved vaccines. We can’t just think about it when it’s March or April,” said Wendtner. The fourth vaccination is already an issue – namely for “the people who got a boost in late summer”. This could be health care workers as well as people who are particularly at risk, for example in retirement homes. However, so far there has been no recommendation from the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) for the fourth vaccination. One is still waiting for data from Israel, where the fourth vaccination campaign is already underway. People with immunodeficiency, people over 60 and medical and nursing staff for seniors are currently receiving the second booster there.

Fourth vaccination initially for risk groups

Sebastian Ulbert, vaccine researcher from the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, also differentiates between people with a healthy immune system and people with a weak immune system when it comes to the question of the fourth vaccination. This means: For Ulbert, the administration of a fourth dose is not initially an option for everyone, but primarily for older people and risk groups, as in Israel. It is still unclear whether and how the effect of the third vaccination will subside in those with a healthy immune system. Wendtner treated the first corona patients in Germany in Schwabing at the beginning of 2020. Since then, more than 1,600 patients have been cared for in Schwabing, and more than 3,600 in total at the Munich Clinic with its five locations.

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