NAfter indications that the actual number of first-time vaccinated people in Germany could possibly be significantly higher than previously assumed, the Robert Koch Institute is planning further surveys in order to be able to better assess the progress of the vaccination campaign. Among other things, around 3,000 people are to be asked about their willingness to vaccinate and their acceptance in early autumn, the institute said on request. The results of the last comparable survey for the time being with around 1000 participants, the results of which were presented on Tuesday, deviated significantly from the official vaccination rate of the digital vaccination rate monitoring (DIM) for the number of first-time vaccinations in the age group from 18 to 59 years.
The institute compared the doses reported as administered by the vaccination centers, mobile vaccination teams, general practitioners and company doctors in the digital vaccination rate monitoring (DIM) with a telephone survey of 1005 adults. For the particularly relevant group of adults between the ages of 18 and 59, the DIM showed 59 percent, while the so-called Covimo survey showed 79 percent. As an explanation, the experts from the RKI cited several possible reasons. Among other things, some of the vaccinations with Johnson & Johnson, in which only one dose is provided for full protection, is only recorded as a second vaccination. In addition, so far only about half of the company doctors registered with the reporting system have reported vaccinations via the web application.
RKI: Under-recording in reporting systems is generally not uncommon
It is important that the under-recording in the digital vaccination rate monitoring is assumed for the first vaccinations and not for the full vaccinations, according to the RKI on Thursday. Under-registration is generally not uncommon in reporting systems. The RKI is assuming that the vaccination rates map the events very reliably. Furthermore, a supplementary multilingual survey is currently being prepared, which will cover the most common foreign languages, the RKI said. This is also intended to reach citizens who cannot take part in a German-speaking survey due to their language skills.
The DIM feeds on reports from vaccination centers, hospitals, mobile vaccination teams and, in the meantime, company physicians; according to the RKI, data from resident doctors and private doctors are also included. Together they are the basis for the so-called vaccination dashboard, in which the vaccination rates are updated every working day. There are also the Covimo surveys by the RKI, for which vaccination rates are extrapolated on the basis of surveys.
In view of the uncertainty about the number of corona vaccinations actually administered in Germany, intensive care physicians are also calling for a representative population survey on the nationwide vaccination rate. “Vaccination is the decisive success factor of the pandemic. We have to do everything to strengthen confidence in the vaccination campaign, ”said the president of the intensive care medicine association Divi, Gernot Marx, the newspapers of the Funke media group. The Federal Ministry of Health is currently not planning such a survey. “Reliable figures are the basis for the acceptance of the Corona measures,” said Marx. If the vaccination rate in the group of 18 to 59 year olds is actually much higher than reported, “we would have a much more relaxed situation, especially with a view to autumn”. The exact number of those vaccinated must be quickly recorded by an independent and representative survey.
The Federal Ministry of Health is currently not planning any alternative recording of vaccination numbers. “The number of vaccinations is reported daily,” a ministry spokesman told the AFP news agency. “These numbers are not based on surveys, but on the information from the vaccination centers, resident doctors and company doctors that are reported to the RKI.”
SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach believes it is possible, in his own words, that the vaccination rate in Germany is underestimated. His observation is that the vaccination centers are no longer filling, Lauterbach told the Funke newspapers. “There could be two reasons, a higher level of vaccination fatigue or that the actual vaccination rate is higher than generally assumed,” he said. Both are possible.
Brandenburg’s Minister of Health Ursula Nonnemacher (Greens) said in the RBB that it has long been suspected that the numbers are incorrect. “This may be due to the fact that the electronic data transmission to the Robert Koch Institute does not always work well.” In particular, company doctors are said to have difficulties with the reports.
According to the RKI In Germany, 62.8 percent of the population received at least one vaccine dose. 56.1 percent of Germans are already fully protected against the corona virus. Meanwhile, the seven-day incidence continues to rise: on Thursday morning it was 27.6 – the previous day the value was 25.1, a week ago it was 19.4. The health authorities in Germany reported 5,638 new corona infections to the RKI within one day. A week ago, the value for Germany was 3539 infections. The increase within seven days is 59 percent.