German Virologist Christian Drosten warns of summer vaccination fatigue

People are enjoying the summer temperatures, and the Corona situation is easing considerably. For this very reason, virologist Drosten warns against vaccination negligence. The goal should be “at least 80 percent dual vaccinations” – precisely because of the spread of mutations.

Virologist Christian Drosten has warned of setbacks for the Corona vaccination campaign over the summer in Germany. Care must be taken to ensure that people do not become careless in the future and, for example, do not pick up their second vaccination because they no longer feel like it or because it is too complicated, the head of virology at Berlin’s Charité hospital said in NDR-Info’s podcast “Coronavirus Update.”

“Things like that just can’t happen. That will be, I think, the next big task,” Drosten said. Accordingly, he expects a discussion on promoting vaccination readiness in a few weeks. The goal is at least 80 percent dual vaccination, at least in the “vaccine-eligible adult population,” he said. This will hopefully be achieved by the end of August, mid-September, he said. Currently, the percentage of fully vaccinated people in the population is just under 22 percent.

Even after Monday’s lifting of the established order, he said, it remains important first to vaccinate those groups where it is urgent because of the increased risk of covid 19. For now, the focus must remain on coverage of people in their mid-40s and older, Drosten said.

High vaccination rate needed because of variants
For the scientist, it is also important that the vaccination campaign does not come to a standstill against the backdrop of the virus variants that have been classified as a cause for concern: the Delta mutant, which was initially discovered in India, or similar variants would “certainly also dominate the field here in autumn” Drosten said. Until then, he said, it is important to ensure the highest possible vaccination rate among adults. “Then we won’t have any major problems” – he sees a small question mark in this regard only when it comes to children. In England, outbreaks in schools due to the delta variant are being observed, he said.

Delta variant probably 40 percent more contagious
Variants are classified as a cause for concern if, for example, they may spread more easily, cause more severe courses of disease or if the virus has changed in such a way that the protection of vaccinated and recovered persons could be impaired. In the case of the delta variant, which worries experts in England, Drosten continues to see uncertainties. Only when the virus gets further and further into the general population there will we see what the virus is really all about, he said.

For Drosten, it is important to look at the delta development in other countries: So far, however, neither in Denmark, where many samples are analyzed, nor in Germany has a strong increase been seen in recent weeks. In Germany, the proportion of delta in samples analyzed was around two percent, according to reports from the Robert Koch Institute in recent weeks. Drosten reported unofficial figures that suggested there was now “maybe a slight increase, but certainly probably not a doubling.” A doubling of levels from week to week has been observed in England, he said.

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