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Drosten: The first half of the year will be very complicated

Unlike countless critics of the vaccination strategy of the EU and the federal government, the virologist Christian Drosten does not consider it possible to retrospectively assess the procedure when ordering vaccines. “It’s such a complex matter. You had to order the vaccine months in advance – and at the time you didn’t even know whether the vaccine in question would work, ”he told the“ Berliner Morgenpost ”(Sunday). “It is now practically impossible to assess that in retrospect.”

However, the EU should quickly catch up with the vaccine from Astra Zeneca, which is already approved for emergency use in Great Britain. “Because this vaccine can also be used in normal medical practices. With this vaccine you don’t have the special refrigeration requirement, ”he explained.

Drosten expects a challenging first six months in 2021. “I’m already looking to the new year with optimism, but I believe that the first half of the year will be very complicated,” said Drosten of the “Berliner Morgenpost”. The chief virologist at the Berlin University Clinic Charité predicts very controversial discussions about the right approach. “We will get into a situation where we have vaccinated large parts of the risk groups and then there will be forces who say that there is no longer any reason for restrictions. The latter, however, will be a miscalculation, because we must not allow very high incidences in principle. Not even with the younger ones. “

“I believe that a relaxation could occur from the second half of the year, but only if you manage to vaccinate a large number of people in the first six months,” said the 48-year-old, who was supported by the readers and a jury of the “Berliner Morgenpost ”has been named Berliner of the Year.

Drosten did not want to make a prognosis as to whether the lockdown in Germany could be lifted from January 10th. “We currently don’t have any valid figures because the laboratories tested fewer tests over the holidays, but also because many people who got sick did not see a doctor. However, we can see from the proportion of positive tests that the numbers are currently not going down. That’s not good, ”said the virologist. “It is not possible to predict today whether the lockdown will have to be extended into February. Maybe we will have a positive surprise. We have to wait until mid-January, only then can the numbers be evaluated. “

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