Lauterbach with bad news: "The Delta variant is currently changing" - and could be forthcoming in the fall
Created: 01/17/2022 05:07
By: Magdalena Furthauer
Karl Lauterbach has reason to worry about the sharp rise in the number of cases caused by the omicron variant.
He even thinks another mutation of the virus is likely in the fall.
Munich – The corona numbers in Germany are reaching a new record every day.
If the RKI reported a seven-day incidence of 497.1 on Saturday, on Sunday morning there were already 515.7 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in one week.
It's another all-time high for the numbers.
For Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, the current situation is anything but reassuring - even if Omikron has not yet had too much of an impact on the intensive care units.
Corona: Karl Lauterbach warns of mutated Delta variant in autumn
In an interview with
Bild am Sonntag
, he talks in detail about the danger posed by the Corona* mutant. Although studies have shown that compared to the Delta variant, the risk of hospitalization is reduced by 50 percent and even by 70 percent for death, but none of this would help if the number of infections was too high. "I therefore urgently warn against underestimating Omikron," says Lauterbauch.
He also does not believe that it could have been the last variant.
"There is not a single well-known scientist I know who claims that omicron is the end of Corona," says the Minister of Health.
To protect against a new wave in autumn, vaccination is therefore absolutely necessary.
Otherwise, contact restrictions would have to be imposed again “because of the unvaccinated”.
Karl Lauterbach: Delta mutation possible - compulsory vaccination as a way out
It is quite possible “that we will be dealing with a mutated Delta type in the fall.
The Delta variant is currently changing," says Lauterbach to the
People who are not vaccinated are at high risk.
However, scientists worldwide also agree that there will probably be no new variant against which a person who has been vaccinated three times is not protected.
Health Minister Karl Lauterbach considers a delta mutation to be likely in the fall.
© IMAGO / Emmanuele Contini
Therefore, a complete vaccination consists of three doses for him too.
This protects you “at least from serious illness and death”, no matter which variant.
In order to be able to reach “the hard core of the unvaccinated”, vaccination is simply required.
Otherwise, Lauterbach considers it "impossible" to get out of the pandemic.
Corona: Lauterbach warns of an "infection wall" caused by Omicron
Like virologist Christian Drosten, he thinks it is unwise to simply let the highly contagious omicron variant rush through.
Other countries could do that because they have many more older vaccinated people than Germany.
In the Federal Republic, every eighth person over 60 is unvaccinated, while Great Britain has a vaccination rate of 95 percent in that age group.
In addition, there are many chronic diseases in the elderly population.
If one encountered the virus under such conditions without taking any measures, one would soon face an "infection wall" that would affect the health system, Lauterbach continued.
At the moment, the younger ones are simply getting sick more often, which is why Omikron has not yet made itself felt too much in the intensive care units.
But that will change.
In this case, there is a risk of “entire departments being closed” and the treatment of other sick people being restricted.
Corona: Lauterbach rules out lockdown - focus on booster vaccinations
When asked by
whether the current measures would be sufficient in the situation, Lauterbach referred to the next Prime Ministers' Conference on January 24th. "If the number of cases then piles up too steeply, we'll probably have to do it again," predicts the Minister of Health. However, he wants to prevent another lockdown, which would primarily affect schools.
The most important thing for him is to add incentives for the third vaccination.
"For everyday life, the following must apply: those who have boosters not only protect themselves, but also have more freedom in everyday life," says Lauterbach.
You need at least one million booster vaccinations a day to flatten the infection curve in the long term.
For him, this is the way out of the pandemic.
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