17:20: The US drug agency recommends adapting booster vaccines to subvariants
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends tailored Covid-19 vaccines to combat the predominant omicron subvariants of BA.4. and BA.5 for autumn. The agency hopes to launch a refresher campaign with the redesigned vaccine by October, said the head of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
The decision followed a recommendation by outside advisers to change the vaccine design this fall to target newer variants of the coronavirus. However, according to Marks, the FDA has not recommended that manufacturers change the vaccine for the primary batch. The coming year will be a transitional period in which the adapted booster can be introduced.
13:55: The Minister of Health of Bavaria rejects the assumption about the costs of testing for citizens
Health Minister Klaus Holetschek (CSU) refuses to allow Bavaria to cover the costs of three euros per citizen’s test, which are scheduled today. “The federal government has decided to introduce this fee and must also adhere to it. Shifting these costs to the federal states does not justify the overall societal challenge posed by the pandemic,” he said. According to him, countries are already bearing a significant part of the financial burden caused by the pandemic. For quarantine and isolation, the Free State has spent more than 200 million euros since the beginning of the pandemic, Holetschek explained.
He wants to bring the issue up for discussion at a special meeting of health ministers tomorrow. Then it should also be about reintroducing new rules. He criticized it as too short-term. Authorities only learned about the new federal testing regulation hours before it went into effect. Some test centers today would not even know that they now have to ask for money from citizens.
As of today, citizenship tests are free only for certain groups of people. Everyone else has to pay three euros – but the federal states are free to bear these costs.
12:48 p.m.: The third case of corona in Wimbledon – Bautista Agut also comes out
The third prominent case of the corona virus at Wimbledon: Roberto Bautista Agut withdrew from the prestigious tennis tournament today due to a positive test, the 17th Spaniard announced via Twitter.
Previously, last year’s finalist Matteo Berrettini (Italy) and Marin Čilić (Croatia) had to stop the tournament early due to corona. Until now, there was no known case in the female field of participants. Tests are officially no longer required at the tournament, and masks are almost never worn. After the cancellation of the 2020 tournament and last year’s pandemic edition, the organizers are back to normal. With 42,000 visitors a day, the facility in south-west London is once again operating at full capacity.
12:41 p.m.: BA head of part-time benefits reform
The Federal Employment Agency (BA) has called for a reform of the short-time allowance, which has been intermittently received by almost six million people during the corona pandemic. The authority is still working on 1.1 million applications, outgoing BA chief Detlef Scheele said. “BA will be busy with this until mid-2024.” It can be concluded from this that the economic compensation for reduced working hours is not an instrument for mitigating major crises. An instrument is needed to compensate temporary absences from work, but it is not calculated as an individual case, but as a subsidy.
11.49: Fraud with Corona aid is still at a high level
Fraud with state aid and other subsidies is still at a high level. Last year, the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) registered 7,260 cases of subsidy fraud recorded by the police, including offenses related to Corona aid. The exact proportion has not been disclosed. BKA announced on Thursday in Wiesbaden that it was about the use of forged personal documents, the use of forged or fabricated personal data and information from private accounts instead of the required business accounts. Violations also included multiple applications in different countries and payments to foreign accounts.
As with all criminal activity, investigators also suspect that there is a significant number of unreported cases of Corona aid fraud. In 2020, 7,585 cases of subsidy fraud were counted across the country. Overall, cases of criminal acts recorded by the police increased by 4.2 percent to 51,260 crimes last year, according to the BKA. This is the second increase in a row.
10:33 a.m.: Socially vulnerable children are especially suffering from the pandemic
According to one study, socially disadvantaged children are especially suffering from the corona pandemic. Affected girls and boys experience negative changes in the quality of life caused by the pandemic much more than all comparison groups, which can be seen from the current DAK-Gesundheit prevention radar for the school year 2021/2022. This relates to life satisfaction, health and psychological well-being. Specifically, according to information, more and more children and young people complain of frequent headaches, stomach or back pain – especially in families of low social status. For the school study, which it says is unique, IFT-Nord in Kiel surveyed around 18,000 boys and girls in grades 5 to 10 in a total of 13 federal states on behalf of the health insurance company.
10:01: Poll – Fewer people satisfied with medical care
Since the beginning of the corona pandemic, fewer and fewer people in Germany believe that healthcare in their region works well or very well. After the first wave of corona in the summer of 2020, 78 percent said so, and in May 2022 it will be only 62 percent. The negative impact of the corona virus is also evident in terms of satisfaction with overall health care. While overall satisfaction was still 85 percent in the summer of 2020 and therefore above the pre-corona level, it dropped significantly to 78 percent in May 2022. These are the results of the current representative follow-up survey conducted by the public opinion research institute forsa among about 2,000 citizens , which the federal association AOK carried out as part of its “Stadt.Land.Gesund” initiative. ordered.
8.55am: Lauterbach thinks the bureaucratic effort involved in the new corona testing regulation is feasible
Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) considers the bureaucratic effort involved in the new Corona testing regulation “manageable”. The form is used to document and sign that the criteria for continuing the free tests are met – “it would be targeted fraud if you lie,” Lauterbach told ZDF’s “Morgenmagazin”. Those who do not meet the criteria will have to pay three euros per test in the future.
7:59 am: South Korea approves domestic vaccine for first time
South Korea has approved the first corona vaccine developed in its country. South Korean manufacturer SK bioscience’s SKYCovione drug can be injected into people over the age of 18 in two doses four weeks apart, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said. South Korea’s health authority KDCA already ordered ten million doses of the new vaccine in March. Similar to the American manufacturer Novavax, SkyCovione is a protein vaccine that is based on a different technology than the mRNA preparations of Pfizer and Moderna that are mainly used in Germany.
5:03: RKI reported 132,671 new infections – the incidence is still rising
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the seven-day nationwide incidence as 668.6 on Thursday morning. This is evident from the numbers reflecting the status of the RKI dashboard at 5 am. The day before, the value of newly infected people per 100,000 inhabitants per week was 646.3 (previous week: 532.9; previous month: 189.0). However, the incidence does not give a complete picture of the infection situation. Experts have assumed for some time that there will be a large number of cases that the RKI does not register – mainly because not all infected people have had a PCR test done. Only positive PCR tests are counted in the statistics. In addition, late registrations or transmission problems can lead to distortion of individual daily values.
Health authorities in Germany recently reported to RKI 132,671 new corona infections (previous week: 119,360) and 83 deaths (previous week: 98) within one day. Here too, data comparisons are only possible to a limited extent due to test behavior, late registrations or transmission problems. In general, the number of registered new infections and deaths varies significantly from weekday to weekday, as many federal states do not send them to the RKI, especially on weekends, and report their cases later in the week. RKI has counted 28,180,861 infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the beginning of the pandemic.
12:30 p.m.: Starting today, citizens must pay three euros for a quick test
Most people now have to pay for a rapid corona test themselves. As of today, free “citizen tests” in testing centers or pharmacies are only available for at-risk groups, for people who deal with particularly vulnerable groups and for those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons. This is foreseen by the new regulation on examination of the Federal Ministry of Health.
And in the future, women in the first trimester of pregnancy will be entitled to free testing, children up to five years of age, household members of infected persons, caregivers, persons with disabilities and their caregivers or wards, and visitors to nursing homes, clinics or institutions for persons with disabilities.
12:02 PM: US orders Pfizer/Biontech vaccine for $3.2 billion
The US government has ordered further corona vaccines from Pfizer and Biontech on a large scale for a planned boost campaign in the fall. Namely, we are talking about at least 105 million doses and a contracted volume of over 3.2 billion dollars (3.1 billion euros), the companies and the government announced on Wednesday. Deliveries should begin in late summer and will include vaccines for adults and children. According to the head of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, it is also about agents that could specifically protect against newer variants of the virus such as Omicron. The deal includes an option to purchase up to an additional 195 million doses, bringing the total number of doses to 300 million.