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According to Stöhr, Lauterbach is in panic mode: “Wearing a mask and keeping your distance is not necessary”


According to Stöhr, Lauterbach is in panic mode: “Wearing a mask and keeping your distance is not necessary” Created: 06/27/2022, 13:44 By: Max Mueller Virologist Klaus Stöhr gives the federal government around Health Minister Karl Lauterbach a bad report. In an interview with IPPEN.MEDIA, he explains which corona measures are now necessary. Berlin – The rising corona numbers worry the federal

According to Stöhr, Lauterbach is in panic mode: “Wearing a mask and keeping your distance is not necessary”

Created: 06/27/2022, 13:44

By: Max Mueller

Virologist Klaus Stöhr gives the federal government around Health Minister Karl Lauterbach a bad report.

In an interview with IPPEN.MEDIA, he explains which corona measures are now necessary.

Berlin – The rising corona numbers worry the federal government.

The health ministers of the federal and state governments met in Magdeburg for two days.

The hotly debated question is: Which measures are important now and in the future?

There are two camps.

On the one hand there is Karl Lauterbach.

One of his opponents is Klaus Stöhr.

In an interview with IPPEN.MEDIA he criticizes the policy of the health minister.

Stöhr, 63 years old, is an epidemiologist and virologist.

He led the SARS research at the WHO.

Since the beginning of June he has been on the Corona Expert Committee, which is supposed to check the effectiveness of the Corona measures.

At the suggestion of the CDU, Stöhr replaced Christian Drosten, who criticized the equipment and composition of the committee.

If virologist Klaus Stöhr has his way, the mask is not an accessory for the summer.

© Sven Simon/Sven Hoppe/IMAGO/dpa (Montage)

Mr. Stöhr, what are we doing wrong now and will regret it in October?

We lack data on the size and localization of the immune gap in Germany.

Which age groups or sections of the population are not yet vaccinated or naturally immunized?

They have the greatest risk of falling seriously ill in the fall and putting a strain on the common good.

If this were recognized by studies, one could start a targeted vaccination campaign.

Other countries know better.

Why is this data missing?

Good question: This is completely incomprehensible.

There have already been inquiries from research groups to the Federal Ministry of Health about funding such studies, which have not been supported.

In the end, it's relatively easy: You send letters to a random sample with the request to catch a drop of blood on a piece of paper and send it back.

From this it can be determined in a laboratory whether the person is vaccinated or recovered.

The question is currently being discussed as to whether there are only isolated free tests.

What do you make of it?

I think it's right.

We should get back to normal in testing.

The normality is: You carry out a test on sick people if the result is relevant for the therapy.

An exception are hospitals and nursing homes, where it is also about avoiding infections and protecting vulnerable groups.

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So you agree with Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach.

That is new.

You recently tweeted in his direction: "If you shout 'Fire-Fire' too often, no one will listen to you in the fall."

What should he do instead?

For me, the content is decisive, not the packaging, i.e. what is said and not by whom.

But: I published my tweet in connection with the call for wearing a mask, which is completely inappropriate in the current situation, and the fourth booster for everyone.

The burden of disease is determined by the situation in hospitals and intensive care units.

Whether action is taken depends on the incidence of hospitalization.

Very little is moving there.

So why tighten or change measures? 

The last two winters have shown that the situation in summer is deceptive.

Because it was not clear to decision makers that control needs in winter do not depend on what happens in summer.

The seasonality is too pronounced for that.

But: Now it would be important to order vaccines as needed to protect the particularly vulnerable and to close the immune gap.

The Minister of Health even promises that everyone will get the vaccine they want.

This is health policy based on patients' wishes and not on necessity, and it is at the expense of taxpayers.

The same applies to the vaccination centers, where money is currently being spent on rent and staff, although there is a yawning void.

It would also be important to reconsider the role of health authorities.

It's not about contact tracing now.

Rather, we need hygiene concepts for old people's and nursing homes.

What else?

Clear communication.

The federal government is currently in panic mode.

To put it bluntly: wearing masks and keeping your distance is not necessary at the moment.

There is no sign of the healthcare system being overwhelmed and that is only pushing back infections.

You won't prevent them anyway.

This increases the risk that the peak will increase in winter.

What is the threat then?

As long as only the asymptomatic and mild illnesses increase: actually nothing.

However, there is a risk that politicians will use increasing reporting incidences as a reason for contact restrictions.

In the worst case, lockdowns will be debated again. 

Stöhr on the Corona situation: "It would be good if the Stiko dealt with this question quickly"

Boosted, vaccinated twice, recovered three times - there are now dozens of combinations.

Who should get vaccinated before winter?

The question shouldn't be how often have you been vaccinated, but: What is the probability of becoming seriously ill?

There we are again with the vulnerable groups, for example people who are older than 60 years, smokers, overweight, people with lung diseases or diabetics.

They could certainly use a booster before autumn/winter.

And the rest?

It would be good if the Stiko would take up this issue quickly.

Ultimately, we need a vaccination recommendation for the endemic soon.

For the summer, I think it's irresponsible to urge everyone to take a booster.

This goes against the Stiko recommendation and the effect would have fizzled out in autumn/winter, when the vulnerable in particular urgently need protection.

Then the vulnerable would have to be vaccinated again.

There is a lack of data for such frequent boosters.


The IPPEN.MEDIA network is one of the largest online publishers in Germany.

At the locations in Berlin, Hamburg/Bremen, Munich, Frankfurt, Cologne, Stuttgart and Vienna, journalists from our central editorial office research and publish for more than 50 news offers.

These include brands such as, and BuzzFeed Germany.

Our news, interviews, analyzes and comments reach more than 5 million people in Germany every day.

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But the fact that respiratory diseases increase in winter, with increasing stress in the intensive care units, has not only been the case since 2020.

In severe winters, patients sometimes have to be transferred to other hospitals.

That will also be the case this winter.

Therefore, the vulnerable groups should also be vaccinated accordingly beforehand.

In the next year most people will have natural immunity if they inevitably get infected a few times after vaccination.


Now that sounds like panic mode.

No, but that will be the reality with SARS-CoV-2;

just like the influenza, RSV, Reo, adeno, rhino, paramyxoviruses.

Everyone contracted these viruses first as children and then several times later.

Since that was not the case with Corona, there was the pandemic with serious illnesses among adults.

But soon everyone will be infected at least once;

then the endemic begins.

But this reality still has to get through to people's minds.

Federal Health Minister Lauterbach has announced that there will be vaccines tailored to the variants.

What do you make of it?

This is a completely normal procedure, it also happens with the influenza vaccines.

However: The current vaccine is still excellent against severe courses caused by the current virus variants.

If you want to get vaccinated or boosted in autumn, you will get through the winter very well.

With a new variant, the effectiveness would slip, but it might still be above the approx. 60 percent mark that was discussed in 2020 as the minimum for the approval of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

story behind the story

We reach Klaus Stöhr for an interview while he is traveling on the Berlin S-Bahn.

He has had the experience that Berliners consistently wear masks on buses and trains.

"It's absurd," as he emphasizes.

With the mask requirement, Germany is a “parallel universe”.

In the Netherlands, England or Switzerland, “no one wears a mask anymore”.

Klaus Stöhr on Corona: "Anyone who wants to prevent all infections has not understood"

What role do drugs play?

There are two drugs, one of which is very effective.

They can help alleviate severe gradients.

However, this was not evaluated in terms of health economics either.

What do you mean by that?

Vaccination is about protecting the common good.

In my opinion, the question of what a measure costs also plays a role here.

Because it affects the common good.

It is not without reason, for example, that you have to pay for the influenza vaccination yourself if you are under 60 years old.

If you want to vaccinate your child against meningitis B, you have to bear the costs of around 150 euros yourself – apart from a few exceptions. 

So you are demanding that all people who do not belong to the vulnerable groups pay for the corona vaccination themselves?

No, but you have to decide that from a health economic point of view, also in comparison with other vaccines and medicines, based on the benefit-cost ratio.

I demand that this weighing up takes place, as is the case with all other newly approved drugs.

That hasn't happened yet.

Overall, however, we are actually well positioned.

There is a healthcare system that is there for anyone who gets sick.

There are medications for those who are at high risk of serious illnesses.

And there are vaccines.

Can you think of anything else?

Karl Lauterbach recommends wearing the mask indoors. 

Anyone who wants can do that.

However, there are no reasons for the government to call for this, since the hospitalization incidence, the decisive parameter for measures, is stably low.

Also: Anyone who is still demanding that all infections must be prevented has still not understood it.

You have to protect the vulnerable and if everyone had a vaccination offer, prevent many people from getting sick at the same time and thus overloading the health system.

Let's take me as an example: I've been vaccinated three times and got infected twice.

I'll get infected again, it's inevitable.

When I become infected is almost irrelevant for the course.

Because I have a certain health status and an immune system that already determine the course of the future infection.

If no one wears a mask anymore, more people will become infected and the likelihood of the intensive care units becoming crowded increases.

That is correct, but we are a long way from that in the current situation.

In summer, with the current immune status in the population, it is generally very unlikely that we will reach the stress limit. 

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2022-06-27

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