According to Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, a successful vaccination campaign before winter would have to reach up to 40 million people. “Ideal would be a vaccination campaign with up to 40 million vaccinated people before winter,” Lauterbach wrote on Twitter on Friday night, echoing statements by virologist Christian Drosten. Lauterbach added: “In winter we have to be very well prepared, otherwise there will be chaos.”
The head of the virology department at the Berlin Charité told the “Spiegel” in an interview published on Thursday evening: “We should be able to immunize up to 40 million people again before winter or provide them with a booster vaccination,” said Drosten . “It would really make a difference.”
Self-government, telematics, Morbi-RSA: The briefing on health
It is important that the funds available to date are used in the fight against the corona pandemic, emphasized Drosten. Old people should be vaccinated four times. “We should also make full use of the framework that exists in Germany for child vaccinations, which is far from being the case. All others should be at least three times and, if desired, four times vaccinated.”
There will be a new vaccination campaign in the fall. According to Lauterbach, it is already in exchange with the vaccine manufacturers.
The virologist Christian Drosten expects a very high number of new corona cases after the summer holidays in Germany. “I hope that the school holidays will slow down the increase in the number of cases. But from September, I’m afraid we will have very high case numbers,” said the head of the virology department at the Berlin Charité in an interview published on Thursday evening. If nothing is done, there will be “a great many absences due to illness” in working life.
“We are actually seeing an exponential increase in the number of cases again,” warned Drosten. “The BA.5 variant is simply very transmissible, and at the same time people lose their transmission protection from the last vaccination.” In other countries, one can see that with very high case numbers, the number of hospitalizations and deaths also rose again. “Unfortunately, that will be the case for us too. Overall, however, far fewer people will become seriously ill and die than in 2021.”
On Friday morning, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the nationwide seven-day incidence as 618.2. The day before, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants per week was 532.9. The health authorities in Germany recently reported 108,190 new corona infections and 90 deaths within one day to the RKI.
However, the incidence does not provide a complete picture of the infection situation. Experts have been assuming for some time that there will be a large number of cases not recorded by the RKI – mainly because by far not all infected people have a PCR test done. Only positive PCR tests count in the statistics. In addition, late registrations or transmission problems can lead to a distortion of individual daily values.
Virologist Drosten does not believe that by the end of the year one will have the impression that the pandemic is over, said the corona expert. In January, Drosten had expressed the hope that Germany could declare the pandemic over in the course of the year.
Drosten recommended avoiding infection as much as possible – also because of the risk of Long Covid. “Unfortunately, an infection is inevitable in the long term. And little by little, mucosal-specific protection is actually forming, which I assume makes the overall population immunity more resilient.”
On the other hand, the virus is also evolving. Drosten: “I assume that at some point a new balance will settle in: the population’s immunity from vaccinations and infections will eventually be so strong that the virus will become less important.