Everyone should now be aware of the Federal Ministry of Health’s vaccination program: People in Germany are divided into one of four vaccination groups based on their age and any past illnesses. Barmer, the second-largest statutory health insurance provider in the nation with roughly nine million insured individuals, has now criticized this strategy in a study. Prioritization is also required within each group.
To obtain the ideal Corona vaccination order The Barmer Institute for Health System Research (bifg) used the information of its insured people who were ill in 2020 Covid-19 to come to this conclusion. Then it was determined if these individuals had ever experienced a prior illness, and if so, which one. The German vaccination program had some flaws that the scientists were able to pinpoint. The Federal Ministry of Health’s ordinance states that nursing staff, people who are over 80 years old, and people living in nursing homes who are currently receiving vaccinations come first. For instance, those with trisomy 21, dementia, a transplanted organ, and people with intellectual disabilities are all included in the second priority level. It is unclear, though, which members of this group need vaccinations particularly soon. According to the findings of the Barmer study, you need a prioritization within a prioritization for this reason.
First of all, the data revealed that individuals with Down syndrome actually have the highest mortality risk: their likelihood of dying from a corona infection is 5.7 times greater than that of completely healthy individuals. Degenerative brain conditions like dementia, which are also present in the second vaccination group, come in second. However, the researchers found a critical error in their analysis of cancer patients: those with lung metastases have a 3.8-fold higher risk of dying from a coronavirus infection. Although, due to their third priority level status, these patients will also have to wait a few more months to receive their vaccinations. According to bifg, the significance of mental and severe neurological diseases was also overstated: The study found that these conditions are linked to a 2.8- and 2.2-fold increased risk of death, respectively. Despite everything, there is no prioritization in the current vaccination strategy for those who are affected.
The number of lives that could be saved using the modified approach was also mentioned by the bifg. The scientists made reference to the presumption that one million Germans can receive vaccinations each week once priority level 2 has been reached. This would lead to a 10% decrease in the death rate in the first 10 days after vaccination and a 73% decrease after 100 days. After ten days, a 45 percent reduction could be anticipated under Barmer’s prioritization plan, and a 90 percent reduction was even possible after one hundred days.
The open-source concept has made it possible for other health insurance providers to access Barmer’s calculation bases and conduct comparable research using the information from their insured clients. It is uncertain whether the federal government will modify its vaccination strategy in light of the findings. Christoph Straub, the boss of Barmer, stated in an interview with the daily mirror, “We can only offer our help.”