Home » today » Health » Corona before the end? Expert: We already have herd immunity

Corona before the end? Expert: We already have herd immunity

More and more anti-corona measures are being lifted. Has the pandemic been defeated, at least in this country? An expert assesses the situation and explains what protection we still need.

The announced on Wednesday EU Commissionshe sees Europe at the end of the “acute” phase of the CoronaPandemic arrived. “We are entering a new phase of the pandemic as we move from emergency mode to more sustainable management of Corona,” said the President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen. However, caution is still required. “We need to vaccinate, boost and test more.”

Prepared at the same time Lower Saxony as the first federal state the fourth vaccination for everyone from autumn. Where do we stand in the fight against Corona and what protection do we still need? t-online asked the immunologist Andreas Radbruch.

t-online: Mr. Radbruch, have you been vaccinated for the fourth time?

Andreas Radbruch: No, and I would advise not doing this until the fall, if at all.

Why, what are the advantages?

On the one hand, one would then protect the mucous membranes in front Infection renew, which is known to be only short-term. On the other hand, one could react better to completely new variants that may appear with adapted vaccines.

In the event that omicron is then still dominant, one could possibly also be vaccinated with a vaccine modified for omicron, if there is one that is better than the previous vaccines.

In general, one has to say: One should dem immune system give yourself time to develop your skills. Six months is better than three between the third and fourth vaccination.

Quite apart from whether it is of much use at all: you will be using the same one over and over again at short intervals vaccine vaccinated, the immune system ultimately no longer reacts at all. Thank God that this is usually the case and that there are no excessive immune reactions.

Andreas Radbruch (Quelle: Gero Breloer)
Dr. Andreas Radbruch is an immunologist and scientific director of the German Rheumatism Research Center in Berlin. He also advises the Health Committee of the Bundestag.

well has Pfizer published a study according to which the protection of the third vaccination with the Biontech vaccine should apparently decrease rapidly. After three months, the vaccine’s effectiveness against hospital admissions due to omicron infections dropped from 85 percent to just 55 percent. Sounds like shocking news, what’s behind it?

First of all, the data doesn’t really show that. The study has several limitations. On the one hand, it is not clearly defined which symptoms of illness led to “hospitalization” and whether these criteria were equally met in the different groups. So it is unclear whether the disease burden was the same in vaccinated and unvaccinated subjects.

In addition, the statistical data are subject to large uncertainties. And above all, there is no data on whether a fourth vaccination would change the situation.

What do you suspect: What is the background of this study?

It seems to me more like a marketing campaign for boosters. English scientists come to different conclusions. They not only examined the admissions to the hospital, but also the clear criterion “transfer to the intensive care unit”.

And the protection against such a serious illness fell four months after the third vaccination only from 90 to around 85 percent, so essentially remained the same.

This is also to be expected, according to numerous studies that have shown that the protection against serious illness from the “old” virus variants remains stable at over 95 percent for many months, even after just two vaccinations.

If the results were correct, shouldn’t we have been seeing this development in our hospitals for a long time?

Yes, exactly. And we no longer see congestion there. Especially not in the intensive care units. Utilization there is steadily declining. Maybe Pfizer, with its really ingenious technology, should now look at other diseases for which we don’t have vaccines yet, instead of constantly suggesting blind boosters to us.

The vaccine doesn’t need that at all, two or three vaccinations are enough for most people. Few benefit from a fourth vaccination. The Stiko has given clear and wise recommendations on this. The immune system is a miracle of nature, it works much more efficiently and sustainably than many people think.

Some federal states have already shortened the isolation time after an infection. Anyone who has been symptom-free for 48 hours after five days can go back to work. What do you think is the intention?

The aim is certainly not to bring the economy to a standstill. Corona is now treated like one a cold. In view of the very high vaccination rate, especially among the over 60-year-olds of around 90 percent who have been vaccinated twice and the degree of infection estimated at over 60 percent, this is also justified.

What do you mean by that? The EU announced this week that estimates suggest 60 to 80 percent of the population was likely already infected. The end of the “acute phase” of the pandemic was also announced. What does that mean?

This suggests that “herd immunity” already exists, in the sense that despite the high number of infections, the burden on the health system is manageable. Completely different than at the beginning of the pandemic.

Whether the “herd immunity” sooner or later also the spread of the Virus limited, time will tell. If you have been vaccinated or recovered, you are only protected from infection for a relatively short time.

According to an English study, vaccinated convalescents are still 90 percent protected from infection even after a year, even if they were only vaccinated 18 months after infection. And there are more and more people who have recovered. This gives hope that we are heading towards the stage where the virus finds fewer and fewer hosts to spread. Maybe it’s already in the fall so far.

Mr. Radbruch, thank you for the interview!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.