Corona variant EG.5 is spreading – “Barbie” rush is said to be partly to blame: new vaccination due?

Corona variant EG.5 is spreading – “Barbie” rush is said to be partly to blame: new vaccination due?

The corona variant Eris has been known since the beginning of the year. Now the cases are piling up, also because of bad weather-related cinema visits. The courses are mostly harmless.

The movies “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” have ensured that cinemas are well attended in the summer of 2023. The summer slump in many parts of Europe has fueled many people’s desire to go to the cinema. A negative side effect: The corona numbers could also increase in this way – as far as Professor Lawrence Young explained for the rapid increase in Eris infections in Great Britain in recent weeks.

In an interview with the news portal MailOnline said the virologist, who works at the University of Warwick: “Infection rates remain low overall, but this is a wake-up call, showing us that we cannot be complacent about Covid. We need to keep an eye on the emergence of variants and be vigilant as we prepare for an inevitable fall/winter spike in infections.”

According to the current state of knowledge, EG.5 is no more dangerous than previous mutations

At the beginning of August, the World Health Organization (WHO) upgraded the corona variant Eris (also called EG.5) to the category “virus variant of interest”. This step was taken because the variant is currently spreading worldwide and is being detected more and more frequently, explained the virologist Martin Stürmer ZDFtoday-Interview. “EG.5 is predicted to have the most efficient probability of multiplication,” the virus expert continues. However, from a clinical point of view, there are no indications so far that with the increased reports of EG.5 cases, people are becoming more seriously ill or that there are more stays in clinics or even intensive care units, ”said Stürmer to the ZDF.

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According to the current state of knowledge, the physician Christoph Specht also classifies the Eris variant as not dangerous. In the RTL/ntv interview, Specht also explains: “This variant is a descendant of Omicron, which the general public does not have to worry about. It is only important for science to follow how the corona virus is developing”.

Do I have to be vaccinated again against the new corona variant?

The currently valid vaccination recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute is still valid. Accordingly, a basic immunity through three contacts with the antigen (at least two Covid-19 vaccinations and/or previous corona diseases) should also protect against the Eris variant to a sufficient extent. However, a booster vaccination should be given to people who are already ill, who work in the medical field or who are very old.

The STIKO recommendations for Covid-19 vaccination in detail – the general recommendations (as of August 14, 2023)

“As the Epidemiological Bulletin 21/2023 explains, basic immunity consisting of three antigen contacts (vaccination or infection, but with at least two vaccine doses) is recommended for all people over the age of 18. In addition, the STIKO recommends people with an increased risk of severe Covid-19 courses (people older than 60 years, people from the age of six months with relevant underlying diseases, residents in care facilities), an increased work-related risk of infection (medical or nursing staff) as well as family members and close contacts of people under immunosuppressive therapy who cannot be safely protected by a Covid-19 vaccination themselves, further booster vaccinations – usually less than twelve months after the last antigen contact, preferably in autumn”.

Vaccines adapted to the mutated pathogens – which should also be effective against EG.5 – will be on the market in the autumn, the television network informs German wave.

This article only contains general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. In no way does it replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical pictures.


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