The Corona vaccination season is scheduled to start this Monday with the distribution of Biontech’s vaccine adapted to the current virus variants. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) wanted to comment on the Corona situation before autumn this morning – as did the acting president of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lars Schaade.

A total of 14 million doses of the Biontech preparation, which is adapted to the Omicron subline XBB.1.5, are expected for the vaccination season in the coming weeks. There is also the adapted preparation from the US manufacturer Moderna, which was only approved for Europe on Friday, as well as an adapted vaccine from the manufacturer Novavax.

However, it is unclear how demand for the corona vaccination will develop. The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) recently recommended booster vaccinations only to particularly vulnerable groups, including people aged 60 and over and people with certain previous illnesses.

The Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Baden-Württemberg does not expect large demand for the adapted preparations. “According to what we know, the latest virus variant does not appear to be expected to take any different course than before,” said the association.

Nevertheless, the extent of the Corona wave in autumn and winter can hardly be predicted. But in general, experts expect a heavy burden on the healthcare system due to the shortage of staff and the seasonal waves of infections with other pathogens such as flu or colds.