NewsRKI boss Wieler sees “another big wave” coming next...

RKI boss Wieler sees “another big wave” coming next winter

According to the President of the Robert Koch Institute, the full extent of the fourth corona wave in Germany should only become clear in spring.

Berlin – In the second Corona winter, the wave hit Germany with full force, with almost daily record numbers of new infections. Now the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive and Emergency Medicine (DIVI) has spoken out in favor of reinstating the law on epidemic emergencies in Germany. There is now a need for nationwide measures to restrict contact, if necessary through a renewed temporary lockdown, explained DIVI President Gernot Marx in the ZDF morning magazine on Wednesday (01.12.2021). The clinics would have to be “saved from collapse”, which also means that all medically unnecessary operations would have to be postponed in order to keep intensive care capacities free.

At the same time, Marx again pleaded for the introduction of the general compulsory vaccination for adults. The Divi President emphasized that it takes around one million booster vaccinations per day not to break the current fourth corona wave, but to prevent a fifth and sixth.

Corona: Lothar Wieler relies on building up basic immunity

According to the President of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the full extent of the fourth corona wave in Germany should only become clear in a few months. “We will only see in the spring how bad this fourth wave really turned out,” said RKI boss Lothar Wieler of the German press agency. Blood donation examinations or population-representative samples will show, for example, how high the proportion of people is who have already developed antibodies against corona – be it through vaccination or infection. In this way, among other things, the extent of undetected cases can be better assessed.

“The higher the proportion of people with antibodies in the spring, the better it looks for us,” said Wieler, referring to the hoped-for build-up of basic immunity in the population. At the end of 2020, when vaccination had not yet started, only about two percent of the population had the corresponding antibodies, said Wieler. “That said, we were very successful at containment.”

Corona: Lothar Wieler urges vaccinations

However, new variants, such as the mutant Omikron now, or changes to existing variants could have a strong influence on the further course. The global success of measures is important “because we are just seeing again that the containment measures can only buy us some time”. Preventing the spread of new or changed variants is extremely difficult.

Current vaccination status in Germany As of November 30, 2021
Fully vaccinated 68.6%
Vaccination doses administered 123.3 million
Vaccination doses administered on Tuesday (11/30/21) 807 thousand

In view of the still existing vaccination gap in Germany, the course of next winter also depends on what is done now. “If many people still don’t have basic immunity, we could have another big wave next winter. It would be best if everyone who can be vaccinated should get vaccinated. Then we still have this virus in our country, but the proportion of people who are seriously ill next winter would be much lower. “

In this country there are still millions of people without a vaccination, including many over 60. Experts warn that next winter could not end with larger corona waves. With the now large proportion of vaccinated people in the population, a lot has been achieved. “We are of course already far,” says RKI boss Wieler. “This is now the second winter season. We know from previous influenza pandemics that there were usually two to three very strong waves of illness before the events leveled off. ”However, the head of the Robert Koch Institute is certain that Corona will remain in the long term. (skr / kna / dpa)

List of rubric lists: © Kay Nietfeld / dpa

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