Stiko chief opposes mandatory vaccinations in Germany

There is an ongoing debate in Germany over mandatory vaccinations. The head of Germany’s Standing Committee on Vaccination spoke out on the issue and spoke out against the idea.  “Personally, I am not in favor of mandatory vaccinations. I never have been and never will be,” – he said in Thomas Mertens.

“I always prefer it when people convince themselves to do something sensible, like vaccinating.” For skeptics, that can happen through new vaccines, said Mertens referring to the drug Novavax.

Many who are critical of mRNA vaccines are apparently waiting for alternatives. In addition, a vaccine is being developed in the U.S. that works similarly to the oral polio vaccine. According to Mertens, this vaccine could be a hit in terms of effectiveness and acceptance.

A booster vaccination is in order

Mertens told the “Rheinische Post” that booster vaccination makes sense. “The fight against the delta variant continues. Getting vaccinated again a few months after the booster vaccination to protect against Omicron, if necessary, is not a problem.”

Mertens predicted that it could take months to produce possible new vaccines against the coronavirus variant “Omikron.” “Three to six months will probably be needed by manufacturers in the lab. It’s not that simple: scientists have to create a vaccine that works against Omikron and Delta, because Delta is still widely distributed. Then you have to wait for approval.”

Mertens also explained again that vaccination recommendations for children aged 5 years and older should be expected by the children’s vaccine delivery date of December 13. In the longer term, the Stiko chief expects that vaccines for children under five will also be approved.

Mertens would not vaccinate his child at this point

However, he himself would not currently vaccinate his seven-year-old child against coronavirus. The head of Stiko said this in a podcast of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

Among other reasons, Mertens cited a lack of data: The EMA only conducts a paper test. “Apart from quite a few children who have been vaccinated in this age group in approval studies, we have no data on the actual tolerability of the vaccine in this group.”

He continues: “We need to try to find out as thoroughly as possible what vaccinating this age group actually means for the progression of the pandemic and ultimately what the possible residual risks of vaccination in this age group are.”

The fact that other countries are already vaccinating their children is also not enough for Mertens: “The fact that vaccination is taking place is still not enough data.”


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