Germany: The mistakes committed by the Robert Koch Institute

David Kipre


“95.58% of omicron cases in Germany involve vaccinees,” was the most shared information on social media earlier this week.

Indeed, according to corroborating sources, this result emanates from a study carried out by the Robert Koch Institute. Study deemed abusive by the observatory and public opinion.

Recently, the said institute confirmed that one of the figures present in its report, and which serves as the basis for the calculation of this figure widely relayed on social networks, is not correct. In its latest report, the institute said 95.58% of Omicron cases in Germany involve vaccines.

However, according to statistics, the vaccinated represent less than 75% of the population. Which is confusing.

“The figure in the December 30 report is false” 

The Robert Koch Institute document stated that out of “10,443 cases of omicron” reported on December 28, the vaccination status of some of them was known: “186 patients were not vaccinated, and 4,020 were fully vaccinated. “

Figures which will be considered later as erroneous. Indeed, between the weekly reports of December 23 and December 30, if the number of vaccinated affected by omicron had sharply increased, that of unvaccinated remained the same (186 patients).

The Robert Koch Institute has, in fact, recognized an error in updating the document. “The figure in the December 30 report is wrong. The true value is 1,097 cases, not 186. We are very sorry, and the report will be corrected quickly, ”the institute said.

What is it really? 

According to “Check News,” out of 10,443 cases of omicron, vaccination status was actually available for 5,117 people (not 4,206 as the institute indicated in its report). The information that can now be deduced from these figures is that 78.56% (and not 98.58%) of the cases of omicron infection for which the vaccination status was known concerned vaccinees, and just under 22% unvaccinated.

“It is not legitimate to extrapolate [such] a value to the general population. Omicron cases […] are not distributed evenly across Germany. Their distribution is, so far, stronger in and around urban areas. Furthermore, the distribution of omicron also differs widely between federal states, with 65% in Bremen and 1% in Saxony. This variability is due to different reasons, such as a low number of omicron cases, a different number of tests performed and a slower transmission of test results due to vacations, ”said the Robert Koch institute which supports by elsewhere, that the vaccination rate is not uniform in the territory.

All about the Omicron

Declared of “concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is now present in 128 countries.

As Omicron continues to spread around the world, the United Nations health agency has said it is crucial to do more to help all countries receive coronavirus vaccines as quickly as possible.

How does it manifest itself?

According to a study conducted by French public health, the most common symptoms are fatigue, cough and fever. Some people have also experienced loss of taste or smell, symptoms similar to those of the Delta variant. The same source indicates that these symptoms were generally mild.

In view of all this, WHO recommends that countries adopt a scientific approach based on risk assessment, opt for transparency through data sharing, as well as intensify surveillance and sequencing. cases in order to have a better knowledge of the variants in circulation.

States must continue to apply public health measures in order to globally reduce the circulation of COVID-19. This means physical distancing, wearing a mask, ventilating indoor spaces, washing your hands, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, or even avoiding enclosed and crowded places.

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