Corona pandemic: Virologist Streeck does not expect herd immunity soon

Corona-pandemic
Virologist Streeck does not expect herd immunity anytime soon

Hendrik Streeck does not consider herd immunity to the corona virus to be realistic until autumn. Photo: Federico Gambarini / dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

Will enough people in Germany be vaccinated soon to stop the spread of the coronavirus? The virologist Hendrik Streeck is skeptical for several reasons.

The virologist Hendrik Streeck does not expect herd immunity to the corona virus in Germany until autumn. “I am sceptical. We are not dealing with vaccines that completely protect against infection, ”said Streeck of the German press agency.

Vaccinated people with a high antibody reaction could also become infected with the virus and pass it on to others. “Only less often,” said Streeck. The Robert Koch Institute writes that the vaccines used in Germany “prevent infections to a significant extent” and “greatly reduce the risk of virus transmission”.

Streeck also pointed out that the immune response is likely to decline over time. “How strong the effect is will only be able to be measured in autumn.”

Herd immunity means that so many people in a population are immune to a virus that it cannot spread any further. People can be immune after having had an illness or a vaccination.

In addition, children would theoretically have to be vaccinated for herd immunity, said Streeck. “But vaccinating all children now would be the wrong approach.” It is a matter of weighing up the interests of each individual person. «Fortunately, children very rarely get seriously ill with Covid-19. Those who had a severe course usually also had severe previous illnesses. “

The risk of serious illness in healthy children from Covid-19 is very low, unlike in sick children. “Vaccination makes sense for children with previous illnesses,” said Streeck.

dpa

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