Omikron will soon “take over the business” in Germany, says Christian Drosten. The virologist warns and emphasizes the importance of booster vaccinations.
Berlin – Omikron is causing the number of infections to skyrocket worldwide. Australia, Argentina, Israel, France – all of them are currently reaching new records in the corona pandemic *. The US reported more than a million cases in just one day for the first time on Tuesday (January 4th) – a whole new dimension. The number of new infections is also increasing rapidly in Germany, almost doubling on Wednesday (January 5th) compared to the previous day.
Drosten: Omikron will “take over the business” – the risk of hospitalization is lower
Christian Drosten is certain that Omikron will now “take over the business” in this country. At the end of January, the variant will also be dominant in Germany, said the virologist in the new episode of the NDR podcast “Coronavirus Update”. It is currently assumed that the Omikron cases will double in about four days. But the corona expert also gave hope.
Data collected so far indicated that a smaller proportion of those infected had to go to hospital with Omikron infections, explained Drosten. “I think you can now say that it is so.” He also referred to a study by Imperial College London that was published shortly before Christmas. According to this, the overall risk of hospitalization with Omikron is up to 30 percent lower than with the Delta variant.
Drosten warns about Omikron: No all-clear
For people who have been vaccinated twice, the risk drops by 34 percent, and for people with a booster vaccination by as much as 63 percent. In the case of unvaccinated people who become infected with Omikron, this risk is reduced by at least 24 percent. In view of the “many unvaccinated people that we unfortunately have in Germany”, this is good news, explained Drosten.
However, courses of varying severity are inevitably to be expected and the all-clear is currently not appropriate. The virologist warned strongly against coming to the conclusion that it was better to go through a corona infection * than to get vaccinated. Even young, completely fit people risked severe courses and, for example, lung damage.
Drosten gives Omikron hope: Booster vaccination “makes the difference”
Drosten went into another study from Denmark. It shows that only the third dose of the corona vaccination * significantly reduces the risk of an omicron infection. The double vaccination probably does less to contain the spread, said the virologist.
“We’re pretty much unprotected against Omikron,” says Drosten. But: the booster vaccination, “that makes the difference.” The virologist made it clear: “What really protects against Omikron is the triple vaccination.” This was shown by the data of the studies described above. The current strong focus on booster vaccinations in Germany is therefore correct and important.
Drosten optimistic: “Many cards that we can still draw”
In his prognosis for the coming weeks and months, Drosten was optimistic. “We will definitely see a steep wave, too, but I think we are on our way overall, let’s say towards Easter, where we still have many options, many cards that we can still draw.” moderate and readjust in the right places, he demanded.
Politicians have the next opportunity this Friday (January 7th). At the Corona summit, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the state minister-presidents want to discuss the pandemic course for the first time this year. It should also be about a possible change to quarantine regulations, especially for employees of the critical infrastructure. (ph with dpa) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA
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