News Confusion about an outdated strategy paper

Confusion about an outdated strategy paper

Dhe Robert Koch Institute (RKI) accidentally put an older version of a strategy paper online on Wednesday, which has since been revised several times. This was confirmed by the FAZ institute. In the incorrectly published version, it said that the RKI considered the use of a vaccine against the coronavirus to be possible in autumn 2020. According to the RKI, this statement is not true: “The RKI does not expect that a vaccine will be available as early as autumn 2020.” The paper had been removed from the page. The updated version will be published in the same place shortly. Whether the other statements in the paper are correct was initially not clear on Wednesday evening.

In the outdated strategy paper entitled “The pandemic in Germany in the next few months” It was warned that it would be too dangerous at this point in time to trust that vaccination would make the pandemic manageable from autumn onwards, as imponderables such as mutations or short immunity periods could put the benefit of vaccinations into perspective.

“In any case, it is essential to immediately prepare a nationwide vaccination campaign for the time when an effective vaccine is available,” wrote the RKI experts. “To this end, viable concepts for storage, distribution logistics, prioritized target groups or comprehensive vaccination monitoring are already being developed.”

Overall, the RKI drew a “positive interim balance for dealing with the SARS-CoV2 pandemic in Germany” in the paper. However, the economic and social effects of the corona measures were drastic, so it is now a matter of preventing the further spread of the virus without the need for a large-scale lockdown again. The risk of infection had to be further reduced, risk groups had to be tested, and the sick had to be consistently isolated.

Currently there is “the justified concern” that due to the apparent calm of the past few weeks, the necessary attention to the disease has decreased. At the same time, the risk of new outbreaks and a possible second wave is growing. “That is why the right impulses and goals must now be set in order to counteract this,” says the RKI paper. The “risk-minimizing behavior” must be further developed and anchored in the population.

After the summer, according to the RKI, already available vaccines against respiratory diseases will play a decisive role in pandemic control – because these diseases cannot always be differentiated from Sars-CoV2 without closer examination. “Double infections are to be avoided.” Broad application of the influenza vaccine, in particular, could prevent an avoidable seasonal overload of the health system from this disease.

With regard to soccer games, for example, the paper said: “People gathering, especially in closed or semi-closed rooms, significantly increases the risk of SARS-CoV2 spreading.” However, different events are the cornerstones of social, religious and cultural life in Germany. The responsible persons in the respective industries would therefore have to develop “differentiated, transparent and comprehensible guidelines for the implementation of events”.

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