Immunologist Carsten Watzl expects that the more contagious delta variant of the coronavirus will still be the predominant mutant in Germany in July. Currently, 30 percent of new infections are likely to be due to the delta variant, the secretary general of the German Society for Immunology said Monday on ZDF's "Morgenmagazin." In his view, the 50 percent mark is likely to be exceeded in July. The good thing, he said, is that this is happening at a very low level.
Watzl did not currently advise shortening the interval between first and second vaccinations. Currently, there is not enough vaccine. He advocated maintaining the recommended intervals and administering as many first vaccinations as possible. If the current pace of the vaccination campaign is maintained, all second vaccinations should also have been administered in September. If more vaccine is delivered, it will also be faster.
The immunologist assumes that the elderly will be due for booster vaccinations from September, especially in nursing homes. Many elderly people were vaccinated very early, and the vaccine is not as effective in them as it is in younger people. However, children would also be infected with the delta variant, albeit with a lower risk of a severe course of the disease. There will be outbreaks in schools and childcare facilities in the fall, Watzl expects. Vaccinations or fresh-air concepts can be used to combat this, he said. "Think about having your children vaccinated," the immunologist advised parents.
Meanwhile, SPD health politician Karl Lauterbach has called on the Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO) to reconsider its limited recommendation for Corona vaccination of children. "In the UK, many children are already hospitalized with Covid. The Standing Commission on Vaccination argues that Covid is harmless to children. But in my opinion, this does not apply to the Delta variant," Lauterbach told the Rheinische Post newspaper.
With the delta variant, the number of hospitalizations is much higher: "The Robert Koch Institute assumes a hospitalization rate of 11 percent, which is twice as high as with the alpha variant. The difference is particularly large for younger people, which makes the delta variant a problem, especially for children," Lauterbach said.
Image by Gerd Altmann