“The orientation is now given again”

March 2, 2022 – 13:37 watch

Summer, sun, break without a crown? This has always been the case in recent years. But since the omicron variant is very contagious, German coronation expert Christian Drosten advises in the ‘Coronavirus Update’ podcast not to forgo indoor FFP2 masks in the summer. This is the only way to ensure effective protection against infections. In this episode, the virologist also announced that he would like to fully dedicate himself to research from now on – and that it will be the last podcast. Because now orientation is given again – and it is the turn of politics.

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Insufficient vaccination progress

Despite declining corona infections in Germany, virologist Christian Drosten assumes that in the summer it will also be possible to contract the omicron virus variant. On the one hand, current vaccination progress is insufficient, on the other hand, the activity of omicron infection is still high, a scientist from the Berlin-based Charité said on Tuesday in the podcast “Coronavirus Update” on NDR-Info. “That’s why I assume summer will not be infection-free.”

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Omicron infections are also possible in the summer

Drosten pointed out that, for example, in South Africa, the omicron wave increased sharply in the middle of summer. It does not assume that there will be an “unbridled” wave in Germany in the summer, but “it will be possible to contract this omicron virus in the summer”. In this regard, she also believes that it is advisable to wear indoor masks in summer. In particular, wearing FFP2 masks indoors is “the most effective measure of all” in the long run.

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Winter 2022/2023: Large-scale job loss

With temperatures dropping again during the year, Drosten said that another wave of winter would come. He hopes that this will not be accompanied by a heavy burden of disease on the population, but the risk of large-scale absenteeism will continue to exist. “The pandemic ends not only when vaccination has reduced the severity of the disease, but also when this high level of transmission has ended as a result of some modification in the population,” he warned.

The subtype Omicron BA.2 remains an element of uncertainty

Drosten explained that the BA.2 subtype omicron, which is possibly even easier to carry and spreads more and more, remains a factor of uncertainty for development. In its current weekly report, the RKI shows that the percentage of positive results in the sample is around 24 percent.

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Based on data from previous studies in several countries, Drosten said, it was initially not possible to conclude with certainty whether BA.2 would lead to more severe disease progression. The data is still very preliminary. However, he does hope to see insights from Hong Kong, where many older people were very hesitant before vaccination and where Omicron is now showing a heavy burden of disease in this group.

Omicron: 3rd vaccination like effect as good as adapted vaccine

Despite the fact that vaccines have already been adapted to the Omikron, Drosten renewed his call to vaccinate himself first and fortify with the vaccines that are already available. A US study with macaques, for example, showed that the boosting effect of the third immunization with Moderna against Omicron is as good as with the Omicron-adapted vaccine. True, no specific conclusions can be drawn from this for humans. But Drosten clearly advised: “You shouldn’t wait, you should take the third dose with the old vaccine. You can always refresh yourself.”

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Drosten says goodbye to the podcast: “Not much else to say”

At the same time, the virologist announced in the podcast that this is the last episode of the update and that he now wants to dedicate himself exclusively to research. “I already have the feeling that the orientation has returned and that everything went very smoothly with Omikron in terms of the severity of the disease and the good protective effect of the vaccination, as we have it now,” explains Drosten in his decision there. .

Another periodic piece of information will come sometime during, or rather towards the end of, the second quarter on vaccine updates and their benefits. “Until then, I don’t think there is much left to say,” Drosten continued. “And I don’t see that as a reason to expand this podcast further now because I’m not interested in being a media character.” (dpa / ija)

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