Johnson confusion and convalescent chaos: Union upset because of Lauterbach

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From: Andreas Schmid

New rules for recovered status and vaccination with Johnson & Johnson: Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach has to face probing questions. © Political Moments/Imago

How could the recovered status and the new rules for Johnson & Johnson be adjusted? The Union is now demanding detailed information.

Berlin – The reduction of the convalescent status from six to three months remains politically explosive. Karl Lauterbach (SPD) protested on Friday that he knew nothing about the rapid adjustment of the RKI. “I was asked, ‘When will the recovered status be changed?’ not included,” said Lauterbach at the federal press conference. “I expected that to happen later.” The SPD politician spoke of a “communication problem” that he considers “justifiable”. This explanation is not enough for the Union, it is now officially asking the traffic light coalition to comment.

Corona: Union makes “small request” to traffic light about recovered status and Johnson & Johnson

The parliamentary group of the CDU and CSU demands information about the adjustment of the recovered status by the Robert Koch Institute and the withdrawal of the vaccination status of Johnson & Johnson vaccinated by the Paul Ehrlich Institute. The writing lies before. Tino Sorge, health policy spokesman for the Union faction, explains: “As the opposition, we will no longer allow the minister to dodge uncomfortable questions.”

Tino Sorge at the 13th session of the German Bundestag in the Reichstag building.
Tino Sorge has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2013. © Frederic Kern/Imago

In a total of 17 points, the CDU and CSU want to know how the adjustment came about. The Union asks about the scientific justification of the new convalescent status and also refers to Austria and Switzerland, where the convalescent status is valid for six or even twelve months. Specifically, it says: “Does the federal government consider the recovery period of six, nine or twelve months in other countries to be unscientific and outdated, although it was also justified there with scientific findings?”

Corona recovery status: Streeck and Palmer also criticize adjustment

Also recently put these questions to the Robert Koch Institute. It was said that the adjustment was made on the basis of “scientific evidence” and that regulations in other countries were not commented on.

Explosive: Both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated are currently infected by Omikron, but the RKI justified its adjustment primarily with the situation of the unvaccinated. They would have “after an infection they have undergone a reduced and temporally even more limited protection against renewed infection with the omicron variant compared to the delta variant.” The RKI simply does not know what protection vaccinated infected people have.

The virologist Hendrik Streeck, a member of the Federal Government’s Expert Council, said several times that the best protection is “through a combination of vaccination and infection”. Green politician Boris Palmer said: “There is no scientific evidence to limit the recovered status to just three months. Karl Lauterbach otherwise attaches great importance to them.” In his defense, the minister refers to Delta and does not go into the vaccinated Omicron infected people: “After three months, anyone who was already infected with the Delta variant can get the Omicron again -Infect Variant. So the three months are scientifically correct”.

Corona: Union also sees legal problems because of the new rules

The question signed by Ralph Brinkhaus and Alexander Dobrindt on behalf of the parliamentary group is also about the coming about of the new regulations. Also with a view to the recently adopted EU rule, according to which recovery certificates are valid for six months. Specifically, the Union wants to know when the adjustments began to be planned and whether the Ministry of Health was involved in the change. The Robert Koch Institute and the Paul Ehrlich Institute are federal agencies within the portfolio of the Ministry of Health. On request, the RKI explains that it is in regular contact with the ministry.

The Union also sees open questions of a legal nature and asks in the direction of the traffic light: “To what extent does the Federal Government expect civil law claims to arise as a result of the status changes, for example because trips cannot be started or cancellation costs for booked events are incurred, and who is liable for such claims? “Some lawsuits are already being prepared. In a letter from a Munich lawyer to the Ministry of Health, is available, the new regulations are described as “exaggerated and illegal”.

Tino Sorge demands that the Ministry of Health must “return to reliable communication”. “As the largest opposition faction in Parliament, we demand rapid and transparent clarification on the matter.” (as)

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