It has been almost a week since the first vaccine against the coronavirus was approved in Germany. The amount of vaccine available is already being criticized. An experimental approach could allow more vaccinations. GIGA explains why experts are critical of the idea.
Vaccine stretch through later second vaccination
On December 27th, vaccinations against the coronavirus officially started in Germany. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had previously approved the vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer for the EU. The Federal Ministry of Health assumes that 3 to 4 million vaccine doses will be available by the end of January. Health Minister Jens Spahn announced and explained that this is not enough. That is why vaccinations are prioritized, and particularly vulnerable groups are vaccinated earlier than others.
In order to use the available vaccine for as many people as possible, some experts – including the virologist Hendrik Streeck – suggest delaying the necessary second vaccination. That reports the daily News. Thomas Mertens, Chairman of the Standing Vaccination Commission at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), also considered this possibility. In Great Britain, the two vaccines approved there are first made available to as many people as possible for a first vaccination. A mutated variant of the coronavirus was also detected here first.
Waiting for the EMA: approval does not provide for a subsequent second vaccination
At the EMA, the idea is viewed critically: The proof of the effectiveness of the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine is based on a study with a second vaccination within 19 to 42 days after the first. This time cannot be extended indefinitely. In order to postpone the second vaccination in accordance with the regulations of the EMA, the approval must be changed. For this, the experts from the EU authority need additional clinical data. According to Information of the mirror the Federal Ministry of Health has commissioned the RKI to examine this procedure.
The AHA rules continue to apply even after vaccination. This also includes ventilation:
Another way to vaccinate more people is to use the full vaccine vials. As Der Spiegel further reports, the federal government is in favor of taking six vaccine doses instead of the recommended five doses per ampoule. The filled amount per ampoule would allow that, the company Biontech has also confirmed. This option also requires approval by the EMA, which is still pending.