Highest vaccination rate and incidence: why is Bremen a special case of corona?

Bremen has the best vaccination coverage in Germany, but also the highest corona incidence at the same time. One is mainly due to a competent government, the other only partially explained. More important are the consequences that such a situation can have.

Germany is currently looking at Bremen in amazement. Because although the Hanseatic city has the highest vaccination coverage of all federal states, the 7-day incidence is by far the highest there. So far, Bremen is handling the situation quite well, but there are early signs that it could get serious.

78.9 percent of Bremen residents are currently vaccinated at least once and 75.1 percent already enjoy full protection. The Hanseatic city is therefore much better off than the other federal states, even the Saarland, which comes in second, only comes in at 74.3 and 71.1 percent. Berlin, which is in the middle of the field, has rates of 67.5 and 64.3 percent, while Saxony has only 57.8 first and 54.9 percent fully vaccinated.

There are good reasons for vaccine success

The success can be partly due to the mentality of the population. Above all, the red-red-green Senate has fared much better than other state governments. Three points are decisive, said Lukas Fuhrmann, spokesman for health senator Claudia Bernhard von der Linke “nd“Early August: direct contact, information and education, but also low-threshold offers.

Among other things, the Bremen were specifically informed about the prioritization from the start; those who were eligible for vaccination did not have to make an appointment themselves, but were immediately offered offers with possible appointments.

“Multilingualism was very important to us,” says Fuhrmann. “We have provided information in seven languages, in simple and sign language, to get the information widely disseminated.” In addition, specially trained health workers have been deployed in the neighborhoods that have structural problems. “That definitely paid off.”

80 percent in November

After all, Bremen showed flexibility in early summer. While vaccination in centers was still persistent and difficult in other states, Bremen has already sent vaccination mobiles to the social hotspots and set up temporary vaccination rooms.

That works well to this day. According to “outside and inside“If progress continues, the country could have fully vaccinated 80 percent of the population by the first half of November. If this number is reached, the Senate wants that step model Rethink the incidence of hospital admissions as a new key indicator that has just come into effect.

In Bremen’s new layered model, the 7-day incidence plays only a minor role. However, the Prime Minister and the Magistrate are keeping an eye on them when it comes to deciding whether a higher level and thus stricter corona rules should be adopted. As increasing numbers of patients lead to more hospitalizations, this could soon be the case.

Incidence is particularly high in Bremerhaven

Because despite the high vaccination rate, Bremen currently has an incidence of about 121 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. This makes the Hanseatic city the best of the federal states, Bavaria follows in second place with almost 86 cases, the other two “city-states” Berlin and Hamburg are much better off with values ​​of 74 and 71 respectively.

But Bremen fulfills a special role, because it consists of the larger municipality of Bremen with about 567,000 inhabitants and the municipality of Bremerhaven 53 kilometers to the north with just under 114,000 inhabitants. The Hanseatic city owes the very high incidence mainly to its harbor enclave, which alone has a 7-day incidence of 297. The city of Bremen, on the other hand, only has a value of 87.

Social differences, but a lot of poverty in both cities

The difference can be social. Bremen was loud Chamber of Employees In 2018 an above-average gross domestic product per inhabitant of 50,675 euros. Bremerhaven, on the other hand, was well below the national average of 40,339 euros at EUR 35,484. In Bremen, unemployment is currently 10.3 percent, in Bremerhaven 12.8 percent.

All in all, according to the state of Bremen Poverty Report of the Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband, a quarter of the population will be at risk of poverty in 2019 – the highest figure of all federal states. In Bremen it was 24.5 percent and in Bremerhaven even 26.4 percent.

In the previous Corona waves, the poorer neighborhoods in Bremen were mainly affected. “Poverty and ill health are unfortunately closely linked,” Lukas Fuhrmann said in late April.outside and inside“.

Seafarers and Returning Travelers

The fact that Bremerhaven is particularly hard hit may also have to do with its role as a port city. Because there are “many seafarers from different countries who go to bars and elsewhere with people,” says epidemiologist Hajo Zeeb from Bremen.strict“.

In August, “buten und Binnen” reported that seafarers, along with return voyages, likely pushed the fourth wave in Bremerhaven vigorously, when the incidence there more than doubled from 29 to 66 cases within days. As a result, the city no longer wanted to include infections on ships in the port in the incidence.

Seafarers may bring the virus to Bremerhaven, but they certainly have nothing to do with the next infection process. Because as everywhere in Germany, the number of cases there, especially among children and teenagers, is very high.

Extremely high incidences in children and adolescents

In the current week it is loud CoronaVIS from the University of Konstanz already 351 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants among 10 to 14-year-olds, the value had even fallen 665 the week before. The situation is similar for the 15 to 19 year olds, who had an incidence of 572, the 5 to 9 year olds had 409 and the 20 to 24 year olds 352 new infections.

An increasing number of vaccine breakthroughs, as virologist Andreas Dotzauer called “buten and within” as another possible reason, probably won’t make much of a difference. The Bremer weekly report In relation to the total population, the national incidence of the fully vaccinated was 19.4 and that of the unvaccinated 92.8. According to Dotzauer, only 0.3 percent of new infections among young people is a breakthrough in vaccination.

Inconsistent School Statistics

The problem, of course, is much more that children under 12 cannot be vaccinated at all. In addition, the percentage of fully vaccinated children aged 12 to 17 years, at 36 percent, is not too high in Bremen either.

The high incidences in children, of course, focus on schools, but the official statistics don’t seem to reveal much. According to the weekly report, only 1.31 percent of Covid 19 cases in Bremerhaven were recently due to infections in schools and 0 percent to outbreaks in nurseries.

This seems to be due to the fact that health authorities can hardly trace chains of infection. Only 19.3 percent of cases were classified under “Other facility-related outbreaks and clusters”. In Bremen, on the other hand, 27 percent of new infections were attributed to schools, about 7 percent to nurseries and only 5.4 percent to other outbreaks.

No reason to close schools

Virologist Zeeb sees no reason to close schools because of the high numbers of infections among children and young people. That numbers among unvaccinated people are now skyrocketing is not unexpected, he said.outside and insideEntire classes should not be quarantined either, but only infected children, as is done in Bremen.

Children and adolescents very rarely become more seriously ill Zeeb also sees it that way due to Covid-19. “But that also shows how important it is that there are people who have been vaccinated at home and who then do not get sick and especially not more seriously if they do become infected,” says Zeeb. After all, 87.4 percent of the country’s over 18s are already fully vaccinated, but even that seems to be the case low hospital capacity maybe not enough.

Bremerhaven threatens highest alarm level

Today, 37 corona patients have been treated as hospitalization in Bremen, 13 are in intensive care, eight are on ventilator. In the tiered model, Bremen, with 1.97 hospital admissions per 100,000 inhabitants per week, would remain in stage 0 with the lowest hygiene measures. At present, national level 1 applies. Adjustments are made only if there is an overshoot or undershoot on five consecutive days.

Bremerhaven, on the other hand, is already close to the highest level 3 with a hospital admission incidence of 11.45, which applies to an incidence of 12. In the five times smaller city, 27 Covid-19 patients are currently being treated in hospital. Eleven of them are in intensive care, eight are on a ventilator.

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