For inclusion in corona vaccinations, geriatricians
Berlin is a city in Germany. In the event of a corona pandemic, the German Society for Geriatrics (DGG), the German Society for Gerontology and Geriatrics (DGGG) and the Federal Association of Geriatrics (BV Geriatrie) emphasize the need to protect very old people. After being the first to be vaccinated against COVID-19, mortality among those over 80 has fallen. However, not all very old people are equally affected by this favorable development.
Barrier-free access to vaccination is crucial for the success of the campaign, according to Hans Jürgen Heppner, President of the DGG. According to the three organizations, the corona vaccination campaign could possibly also include geriatric facilities.
This is especially true now that the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and a vaccine is available that only needs to be administered once.
Multimorbidity and frailty are common in geriatric people, with most of them being associated with immobility. Serious COVID-19 illnesses have a particularly negative effect on them. They are given priority in the vaccination sequence because they are residents of retirement homes and care facilities.
According to the associations, patients who undergo senior rehabilitation or geriatric complication therapy in hospitals also belong to this group (geriatric complex).
Vaccination could possibly be given during the geriatric complex in the hospital or as part of geriatric rehabilitation, the three associations said. According to Helmut Frohnhofen from the DGGG, patients who receive their therapy in geriatric rehabilitation are often also suitable for vaccination.
Therefore, their presence in a geriatric facility can be used to achieve this goal. As a single dose of J & J’s vaccine is enough for a successful immunization, Frohnhofen says, problems with scheduling the second vaccination are also resolved.
In addition, the comprehensive medical care provided by a geriatrician enables existing pre-existing illnesses, which may be a contraindication, to be adequately recorded and assessed.