500 euro bonus for corona vaccination?

So Things can change quickly. Until recently, the scarce vaccination doses were the biggest hurdle for the German vaccination campaign – but now, as in other countries, a new question arises: Do enough people want to be vaccinated? The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has set a quota of at least 85 percent as a new target in view of the Delta variant. They consider it “necessary and also achievable”, but recently warned that it was “crucial” that unvaccinated people are motivated to take advantage of the offer. Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) warned on Wednesday on Twitter: The vaccination rate is still high, but “we need a national vaccination jolt to keep it going in July and August.”

But what could this motivation look like? There are no signs of such unusual approaches as in the USA with lotteries, free beer and free marijuana. But the demands for positive incentives and low-threshold vaccination options are increasing. The researchers Jan Schnellenbach from the TU Cottbus-Senftenberg and Ekkehard Köhler from the University of Siegen are demanding a bonus for people who are vaccinated. This could be substantial, Schnellenbach told the FAZ. “I am thinking of 200 or 300 euros.” A recruitment bonus for vaccinated people who motivate friends or family members to be vaccinated is also useful and preferable to hard interventions such as mandatory vaccination.

“We will not get around compensations”

“With a bonus of 100 euros we are going towards 80 percent vaccination readiness,” said economist Nora Szech from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology of the FAZ. “With 500 euros we achieve 90 percent.”

These figures are based on a study that Szech published in April. The result: high payments are very effective, but amounts of $ 20 – the study was carried out in the USA – can even reduce willingness to vaccinate because the ethical importance of vaccination is weakened.

Szech has therefore been advocating high vaccination premiums for months, even for those who have already been vaccinated. Otherwise there would be an incentive for people who have not yet been vaccinated to wait until bonuses are introduced. The social value of a vaccination is 1500 euros, she quotes a study by the Ifo Institute. Part of it should be paid out to the citizens.


Spahn dampens hope that all corona measures will be lifted quickly

BUnhealth Minister Jens Spahn has dampened hopes that the corona restrictions will be lifted quickly. Everything depends on the vaccination rate, said the CDU politician on Deutschlandfunk. There is a high level of willingness among the elderly, so that a vaccination rate of 90 percent will soon be achieved among those over 60.

With the twelve- to 59-year-olds, however, you still have to advertise in order to achieve a rate of 85 percent. They would have to be given low-threshold vaccination offers, for example on the market square, the sports field or next to mosques and churches. “If we can do that as well as possible in July, then we have a good prospect of autumn, of a winter with fewer requirements and significantly fewer restrictions.” Those who are vaccinated will definitely have more freedom.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas contradicted Spahn. He had expressed the expectation that all people would receive a vaccination offer by August and that all restrictions could be lifted. Spahn said that he sometimes wonders who speaks up and how. In August, not everyone could have had a full vaccination because the interval between the first vaccination and the timed vaccination is required, said the health minister on Deutschlandfunk.

“Should let children and young people decide for themselves”

Even without a general expert recommendation, Spahn hopes that young people will be actively involved in the corona vaccination campaign. The supply of vaccines has meanwhile improved to such an extent that all children and adolescents can get a first appointment by the end of August, said Spahn on Wednesday in the ARD’s “Morgenmagazin”. “I think we should let the children and young people decide for themselves.” Anyone who wants can be vaccinated.

The Health Minister added that the recommendations of the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) are important guidelines. But in the end there is also a safe and approved vaccine for all people over the age of twelve, which can be administered according to individual considerations and decisions. It is already clear that there will be many infections in non-vaccinated population groups from autumn, said Spahn. A high vaccination rate is therefore “important”.


Curevac vaccine shows 48 percent effectiveness

Dhe disappointing study results for the Covid-19 vaccine from CureVac have also been confirmed after a final analysis. Accordingly, the vaccine showed an effectiveness of 48 percent against Covid disease of any severity and in all age groups, as the Tübingen biotech company announced on Wednesday evening. In an interim analysis two weeks ago, it was 47 percent. In the final evaluation, however, according to CureVac, a “significant protective effect” of the vaccine was observed in study participants between 18 and 60 years of age. However, they are less at risk of infection than older people.

In this age group, an effectiveness of 53 percent against a disease of any severity and of 77 percent against moderate and severe disease was observed. The vaccinated study participants at this age were completely protected from hospitalization or death – there were six cases in the group that received a placebo. For study participants over 60 years of age, who represented nine percent of the cases examined, no statistically clear determination of the effectiveness was possible.

A total of 228 Covid cases examined

CureVac stated that it is in an ongoing exchange with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to continue the approval process for the vaccine. The company’s vaccine is not included in the plans of the Federal Ministry of Health for 2022. Overall, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) plans to procure so much corona vaccine for 2022 that every person in Germany could be vaccinated twice. The CDU politician announced this on Wednesday in the federal cabinet, according to information from Reuters from participant circles.

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To the detailed view

In a report submitted to the cabinet by the Ministry of Health, it is said that in addition to the purchase of 84.4 million vaccine doses from BioNTech / Pfizer, a mix of different vaccine technologies and manufacturers is being used. In addition to the Curevac vaccine, the AstraZeneca vaccine is also not included. Instead, the procurement of 31.8 million doses of the mRNA vaccine from Moderna is planned, along with 18.3 million doses of the vector vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. In addition, the previously unapproved protein or inactive vaccines are to be procured from Sanofi (42.7 million doses), Novavax (16.3 million doses) and Valneva (eleven million doses). A total of 204 million cans is planned.


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Researchers give distance learning bad marks

WHow does school start after the summer vacation? The President of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK), Brandenburg’s Education Minister Britta Ernst (SPD), has spoken out against early stipulations on further restrictions on regular teaching. “The KMK has advocated classroom teaching, and that should not be questioned prematurely,” she told the newspaper Tagesspiegel.

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said on Saturday that Corona measures in schools would have to be maintained for a long time. In autumn and winter, despite the currently very low incidence, measures such as mask compulsory or alternating instruction will probably still be necessary.

Sobering result

A study has meanwhile given the distance learning a bad rating during the Corona crisis. Researchers at the Frankfurt Goethe University looked at data from all over the world – the result is sobering: “The average development of skills during school closings in spring 2020 can be described as stagnation with a tendency to decline in skills and is therefore within the range of the effects of summer holidays”, explained Prof. Andreas Frey, who teaches educational psychology at the Goethe University, one of the authors of the study.

For the study, researchers used a systematic review with scientific databases worldwide to identify those studies that reported on the effects of corona-related school closings on the performance and skills of schoolchildren. “We have only considered publications of high quality in terms of research methodology, which allow clear conclusions to be drawn about the effect of corona-related school closings on the acquisition of competences by schoolchildren and which use appropriate tests to measure performance or competency,” explained Frey.


Infection Protection Act: Special powers for Spahn – even without an “epidemic situation”

Band wide entry restrictions should be maintained even after the end of the national epidemic. As WELT AM SONNTAG learned, the Union and SPD are planning a corresponding change to the Infection Protection Act in the Bundestag before the summer break.

So far, such corona rules have expired with the end of the “epidemic situation of national scope”, which is currently limited to September 30th.


Spahn wants to avoid heat death with “a kind of climate budget”

Germany Elderly care

Spahn wants to avoid heat death with “a kind of climate budget”

Spahn wants to improve health protection during heat waves

Health Minister Jens Spahn believes that better health protection during heat waves is necessary in view of the increasing number of heat deaths. The reason for this is that excess mortality has been associated with the summer heat for several years, stressed Spahn.

In summer, heat strokes are a life-threatening risk, especially for residents of old people’s and nursing homes. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn proposes a “climate budget” with which homes and hospitals could be converted to prevent overheating. Patient advocates are skeptical.

AIn view of the increasing number of heat deaths in the summer, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) wants to better protect the elderly in particular. Hospitals and nursing homes should be converted so that rooms can no longer overheat, he told the editorial network Germany (Saturday).

Spahn wants to discuss this with the federal states. But his ministry will also need “some kind of climate budget in order to initiate the necessary adjustments in the health system,” stressed Spahn. The board of directors of the German Foundation for Patient Protection, Eugen Brysch, was critical of the Minister’s plans.

Spahn said that there has been excess mortality in the summer due to the heat for several years. In August of last year alone, it is estimated that more than 4,000 people died because of the heat. Temperatures of up to 40 degrees are a major health hazard, especially for older people.

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Germany has one of the oldest populations in the world, said the minister: “In times of climate change and extremely hot days, health prevention must also include protection from heat.” Climate protection is health protection.

Brysch criticized the fact that Spahn wanted to speak to the federal states, showing that the ministerial proposal had no chance of implementation: “Because the federal states themselves do not meet their basic needs for construction and renovation measures.” The states are in favor of structural investments in the 12,000 nursing homes and responsible for almost 2000 hospitals.

The patient advocate called on the federal government to solve the inadequate thermal insulation in nursing homes and hospitals itself with a billion-dollar investment program. Brysch also appealed to the federal states to immediately adapt the building regulations for new buildings and the upcoming renovation of old buildings to effective protection.


Federal Audit Office: Spahn ordered far too many FFP2 masks

Germany According to the Federal Audit Office

The Ministry of Health is said to have ordered thirteen times as many FFP2 masks as necessary

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) is coming under increasing pressure because of his handling of the Corona crisis

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) is coming under increasing pressure because of his handling of the Corona crisis

Source: dpa / Peter Kneffel

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In chaotic processes, complains the Federal Audit Office, the Ministry of Health ordered far too much protective equipment. The costs are therefore in the billions – and could continue to rise. The authority defends itself against the allegations.

DAccording to a media report, the Federal Audit Office has accused the department of Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) of a chaotic approach to the procurement of corona protective masks. The Federal Ministry of Health had procured far too many masks in a disorderly process and accepted enormous expenses, “Der Spiegel” quoted on Wednesday evening from an audit report by the financial controllers. WELT had previously reported that the Federal Audit Office had criticized Spahn’s house, among other things, for billing masks that was too expensive.

The purchases by a working group in the ministry had led to the fact that the quantity of all masks procured with a total of 5.8 billion pieces even exceeded the annual requirement of 4.7 billion protective masks calculated by the Ministry of Health “on the basis of extraneous assumptions by 23 percent”, it says in the report.

In the case of FFP2 masks alone, Spahn’s ministry procured “thirteen times the determined minimum requirement” and “eight times the quantities delivered to the federal states and statutory medical associations to date”, the Bonn authority criticized according to “ Mirror”.

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Physician and health economist Reinhard Busse

Corona and hospitals

In addition to the procurement costs for the respiratory masks of 6.3 billion euros, there would be “annex costs” of 320 million euros so far, which could rise further due to legal disputes and possible disposal costs for excessively procured and expired goods, the magazine quoted further from the report. The Federal Audit Office therefore credits the Ministry of Health with the fact that the task of obtaining masks was very difficult in the peak of the pandemic. But the “over-procurement to this extent” was “avoidable”.

According to the report, Spahn’s ministry defended itself, among other things, with the fact that the department was under “immense time pressure” in the procurement of protective equipment against the corona virus.


Corona vaccine is not as effective as hoped

Dhe Tübingen vaccine manufacturer CureVac has to cope with a severe setback. As the company, which has been listed on the Nasdaq since last year, announced on Wednesday evening, the corona vaccine did not meet “statistical success criteria” in a second interim analysis of 134 cases. However, the approval-relevant review with around 40,000 test subjects should be continued, it said. The stock market price dropped by more than half on Thursday. Before the trading day, the stocks at the broker Lang & Schwarz recently fell by 56 percent to 34.75 euros.

According to this, the vaccine, which, like the vaccines from competitors BioNTech and Moderna, is based on mRNA technology, was only 47 percent effective against Covid-19 disease of any severity in a “previously unprecedented environment with at least 13 variants” it in the message. Initial analyzes have shown that the effectiveness depends on the age group examined and the virus strains.

Recently, doubts about the vaccine had increased, as the Tübingen biotech company actually wanted to get the vaccine approved in the second quarter. In the spring, the company had to adapt the study protocol due to the large number of variants. A few days ago, Berlin circles around Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said that the vaccine would not come before August. This news had already sent the share price plummeting back then. Curevac could not be found on the list of vaccine delivery schedules recently published by the Federal Ministry of Health.

According to the ministry, the setback does not mess up the vaccination campaign in Germany. “This announcement has no effect on the pace of our vaccination campaign,” said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health in Berlin on Thursday. The ministry could not comment on the news about preliminary study results.

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To the detailed view

Just a case with the original virus variant

“We had hoped for stronger results in the interim analysis, but we saw that it is a challenge to achieve a high level of effectiveness with this unprecedented range of variants. We will continue the study with at least 80 more cases until the final analysis. The final effectiveness could still change, ”said CEO Franz-Werner Haas.

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The study will be carried out in ten countries in Latin America and Europe. In the second interim analysis, 134 cases were examined that occurred at least two weeks after the second vaccination, it said. According to the company, 124 of these were sequenced in order to identify the variants that triggered the respective infection. Accordingly, only one case was the original virus. More than half of the cases were caused by so-called “Variants of Concern”.