“Currently, we are in a high incidence phase. And it will stay that way until Easter if we don’t intervene,” said virologist Christian Drosten of Berlin’s Charité hospital in an interview with Die Zeit on Wednesday. What is meant is the highest high corona figures that are available in Germany as well as in Austria. On Thursday, 41,607 new infections were reported in Austria.
Take precautions already in summer
According to the scientist, precautions must already be taken in summer for a renewed wave of infections in autumn. “Effective medication must be available for patients at risk. And you probably have to control the infection with relatively mild measures. For this, masks indoors remain one of the most efficient means.”
The immunity that now prevails in the population would no longer protect against transmission in the autumn. Even if we were all infected now in the summer, that would not be enough for community immunity because that cannot be achieved in one summer, says Drosten.
“It will take years; we will have to control incidences for years with relatively mild measures in autumn and winter. Booster vaccinations in autumn with a focus on risk groups can also help keep the incidence of infection in check. After all, vaccination is the best protection against severe disease.”
About many Omicron vaccines currently in test phases, he said it is not yet possible to assess whether one vaccine variant will be sufficient: “We cannot rely on the fact that Omicron will now change to a new variant, and we will only have to adjust the vaccines a little. Completely different variants can also play a role.” Therefore, he said, we have to look at the southern hemisphere, which is going into winter when summer starts here in the northern hemisphere. “If omicron is still the predominant variant there, you can decide with some certainty: We boost with a vaccine adapted to Omicron. We start the vaccination campaign again with the highest age groups that are particularly at risk.”
- source: heute.at/picture: pixabay.com
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