Despite the increasing numbers due to Omikron, Christian Drosten is unusually optimistic. He believes the pandemic will end in 2022 if an important measure is implemented.
Munich – Two years ago, the scientific community knew him above all, today Christian Drosten is known throughout Germany as one of the leading coronavirus experts. While the numbers seem to be increasing constantly due to the omicron variant, the virologist is unusually optimistic. He is “completely sure” that life will go back to how it was before the pandemic. And not in as long a time as he predicted in an interview with the Tagesspiegel.
Christian Drosten: The pandemic will end in 2022 – if important measures are implemented
It was already clear to him in January 2020 that Sars-CoV-2 was a serious virus. However, like many others, he assumed that it was not too contagious. However, the first measurements of the viral load of asymptomatically infected people were “a surprise”. According to Drosten, China therefore reacted very proactively with the early, hard lockdown.
Omikron can now be seen as an “opportunity”. While Alpha and Delta were still “fitness leaps”, which made them better adapted to humans, Omicron is an immune escape variant. “This is a reaction to the developing population immunity,” Drosten told the Tagesspiegel . However, this immunity must now be kept high through vaccinations, this is the only way to get out of the pandemic.
Christian Drosten: Corona virus will continue to mutate
There is also only a limited mutation space for the corona virus*. “The virus cannot change the structure of the spike protein so much that it is no longer recognizable,” says the virologist. As Health Minister Lauterbach already confirmed, Drosten also considers other Covid variants to be very likely. But that will happen much less frequently in the future than it does right now. This is also the case with influenza.
How exactly these mutations will form is a difficult question. It is much more relevant and interesting for him “how long the torment with the pandemic” will continue. “Because unlike the mutation area, which is difficult to estimate, the population immunity in adults is developing in a clear direction: the population builds up immunity and also keeps it,” said Drosten in an interview. Germany is currently in this process.
Corona: Drosten also insists on vaccinations – no “significant restrictions” in winter
But even if the step is taken in the right direction, one must continue to rely on vaccination and not on contagion if one wants to prevent excessive deaths. The reason for this is the high proportion of older people in the population.
Nevertheless, Drosten is optimistic about the coming months. “Will we ever live like we did before the pandemic? Yes absolutely. I’m completely sure of that,” says the virologist to the Tagesspiegel . Although he expects an increase in the incidence and the requirement to wear masks indoors in winter, he believes that “really significant restrictions” will no longer be necessary.
Christian Drosten: Corona infection as a natural booster – when there is already high immunity
Sooner or later, however, everyone would become infected with the corona virus. Keeping it under control is simply “not feasible”. If enough people in the population had a suitable immune response* ready through vaccination, the infection would act as a kind of natural booster. This means that there is no need for a new vaccination every few months.
What is important, however, as he repeatedly emphasizes, is the initial protection provided by the vaccine. If this can be enforced in Germany and, above all, the third-party vaccinations significantly increased, Drosten believes that the endemic state could still be declared in 2022. That would end the pandemic. He leaves it to politics whether vaccination is required or not. (mef) *Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA
Rubriklistenbild: © Emmanuele Contini via www.imago-images.de