Gerald Gass, President of the German Hospital Society, has criticized the apparently imprecise vaccination statistics of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). First, the willingness of citizens to be vaccinated is higher than expected, said Gaß WELT. “Second, the reporting procedures defined by the RKI and the health authorities are still inadequate and inappropriate for a pandemic of this magnitude,” said Gaß. “On the basis of apparently wrong and insufficient data, serious decisions are made for millions of people and basic rights are restricted.” If it is discovered weeks later that the data basis was wrong, “this massively undermines trust in the decisions”. He therefore expects the RKI to provide clarity immediately and to communicate data openly. The vaccination quota is “an essential basis for decisions in autumn and winter”.
Andreas Gassen, Chairman of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, pointed out that the actual vaccination rate of fully vaccinated adults is now close to 80 percent. In addition, there is the group of those who have recovered, which also includes several million people. “This increases the need for a political timetable for when the end of all restrictions can be expected. In short: when exactly the epidemic situation can be ended. “
FDP: No reliable figures after a year and a half of the pandemic
Criticism also came from the FDP-Bundestag parliamentary group. “I do not understand why we will still not be able to access reliable figures in 2021 and after a pandemic of over a year and a half,” said the health policy spokeswoman for the FDP parliamentary group, Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus, WORLD. “I also don’t understand why these imprecise figures are included in the general political decision. These have to be reliable if we do not want to gamble away the trust and acceptance of the population even further. ”She expects the report to be followed up. “Minister Spahn speaks of really good news, but he does not take a position on the question of how the percentage deviation can come about.”
From the Linksgroup also comes criticism. “For a year now, the federal government has been quite rightly declaring that a high vaccination rate is the way out of the pandemic. However, she does not even know exactly how successful the vaccination campaign actually is, and that is not acceptable, ”said the Left MP Kathrin Vogler opposite WORLD. “If the vaccination quota is to be made the benchmark for further measures or their repeal, reliable figures would be the least that politicians need.”
However, they are more cautious Greens. “While it may well be that the actual vaccination quota can be above the figures given, and this also applies to the adult population, one must not forget that children and adolescents in particular are currently particularly at risk,” said Kordula Schulz ash, Rapporteur of the Greens parliamentary group for infection protection. “Our priority is to keep the schools open. For this, children and young people have to be vaccinated. ”The vaccination rates are not yet high enough here.
Spahn: “With this vaccination quota, no further restrictions are necessary”
According to a new evaluation by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the corona vaccinations in Germany are probably more recorded than in the reporting statistics. It can be assumed that up to 84 percent of adults are already vaccinated at least once and up to 80 percent fully, according to a current RKI report dated October 5th. This would correspond to vaccination rates five percentage points higher than according to official reports from the vaccination centers. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) spoke of “really good news” and no longer considers mask requirements outdoors to be necessary – but inside, protective rules remain important. “From today’s perspective, no further restrictions are necessary for this vaccination rate.”
The vaccination campaign was “even more successful than previously thought,” said Spahn with reference to the RKI evaluations. “That gives us additional security for autumn and winter. With prudence and caution, we want to go back to freedom and normalcy step by step. ”The vaccination rates now achieved made it possible to forego any requirements outside, for example, about wearing medical masks. In indoor areas, access rules for vaccinated, convalescent and tested people (3G) with the option for 2G only remain important for vaccinated and convalescent people – as well as hygiene rules with distance and masks, especially on buses and trains.
“From today’s perspective, there will be no need for any further restrictions,” said Spahn, referring to autumn and winter. “Each further vaccination increases safety and enables even more normalcy,” said the Minister of the German Press Agency.
Lauterbach doubts Freedom Day
The SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach called the new RKI data plausible. Nevertheless, this is not enough for a “Freedom Day” – an end to all restrictions. “A few weeks of 2G and good vaccination offers would help,” wrote Lauterbach on Twitter.
In the analysis, which was initially reported by the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe, the RKI explains that “the vaccination rate reported in the digital vaccination rate monitoring is to be understood as a minimum vaccination rate and an underestimation of up to 5 percentage points for the proportion at least once vaccinated or fully vaccinated can be accepted. ”The estimate is based on citizen surveys and registration data. To illustrate: five percentage points for adults roughly correspond to 3.5 million people.
The background to this is that in surveys by the RKI, significantly more people state that they have already been vaccinated than are recorded in the registration statistics. According to reports from vaccination centers such as practices, company doctors and vaccination centers, almost 80 percent of people over the age of 18 have received a first injection, and a good 75 percent have already received the second. In relation to the entire population, according to data from Thursday, 65 percent or 54 million people are now completely vaccinated with the second syringe, which is usually necessary for this. 56.8 million people or 68.4 percent of all residents have at least one first vaccination.
The RKI cites various explanations for a higher vaccination rate among adults – among other things, that people who are less willing to vaccinate are underrepresented in the surveys. The RKI also states that people with poor knowledge of German cannot take part in the survey. “There is a presumption that language barriers also lead to a lower use of the COVID-19 vaccination.” In addition, certain vaccinations are not even recorded in the statistics. As early as August, the RKI reported “a certain degree of uncertainty” in the interpretation of vaccination rate data.
There are also reporting delays in some cases. So far, only about half of the company doctors registered in the digital system have reported vaccinations via the web application. This could be “an indication of under-reporting of vaccination rates”. In addition, it can be assumed that not all vaccinations are transmitted via corresponding reporting portals in everyday practice. Assuming that all doses delivered by September 27th had been vaccinated by October 5th, the proportion of adults vaccinated at least once increased by 3.2 points.
The German Foundation for Patient Protection criticized it when the government relied on surveys to assess vaccination progress. “After all, it is well known that socially desirable behavior is often indicated in surveys,” said Eugen Brysch. “The facts alone are decisive.” With hymns of praise for higher vaccination rates, Spahn is doing the vaccination campaign a disservice.