14 infected people in old people's home after vaccination – how can that be?
In a retirement home in Belm, 14 people are infected with the coronavirus – although they have already been vaccinated twice. What does this mean for the corona vaccinations?
The coronavirus vaccination is the light at the end of the tunnel that people around the world are currently clinging to. What was considered a distant future possibility half a year ago is already a reality today: thousands of people in Germany are vaccinated against the coronavirus every day. Even if it is slow – things are progressing.
14 vaccinated people tested positive for Corona
However, there is now a message from Osnabrück that is causing confusion. The residents of a retirement and nursing home in Belm received their second corona vaccination on January 25th with the agent from the manufacturer Biontech / Pfizer. On February 2, the first of them tested positive for the virus. The home has now reported 14 infected people among the vaccinated. How can that be?
On the one hand, the virus mutation from Great Britain was found in the infected people in Belm, which, according to current research, should spread much faster. But: Biontech / Pfizer has already announced that the vaccination should also work against the British mutant. On the other hand, however, it is still under discussion to what extent a vaccination can prevent not only an illness, but also infection with the coronavirus.
"Der Spiegel" is currently addressing this question and is referring to research from Israel. The country already has a high vaccination rate, with 50,000 people vaccinated in a study. The result: From the twelfth day after the first vaccination, the number of infections drops sharply. This evaluation suggests that the vaccination should also prevent infection with the coronavirus – but not 100 percent. AstraZeneca, for example, is currently assuming an effect of 38 to 60 percent against the infection.
The risk of infection should also depend on the time of vaccination. Several corona outbreaks have been reported among those vaccinated since the beginning of the year, but most of them had only received the first vaccination and this was only a few days ago. However, with each vaccination, the immune system needs a while to build up full protection.
Asymptomatic to slight corona course as a positive sign
Why exactly the residents of the old people's home got infected despite the second vaccination is still unclear, as is how long they have been infected. According to NDR, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn is said to have asked the Robert Koch Institute and the Paul Ehrlich Institute to investigate the infections. In general, however, according to NDR, there is no cause for concern.
Two things in particular give hope in the case: On the one hand, infections have only very rarely been reported among vaccinated people, and finally the corona outbreak clearly stands out. On the other hand, it is noticeable that the infections were only found in a series test. All those who tested positive should only be asymptomatic or mildly ill, even though they belong to the high-risk group – this in turn is a very positive sign that the vaccination can actually weaken a disease and even prevent it completely.
Sources used: Ärzteblatt, NDR, Der Spiegel