BA.5 rages in Portugal: is Germany now threatened with the summer wave?

In the omicron sublineage BA.5, which caused the number of corona cases to increase in Portugal, among other things, growth is also becoming increasingly clear in Germany. Your proportion in samples recently doubled weekly – but so far still at a very low level, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

Above all, rising corona numbers in Portugal have recently attracted attention in Germany regarding BA.5. Despite the high vaccination rate of 87 percent, there has also been an increase in the popular holiday destination the number of hospitalized patients and mortality associated with Covid-19. There are hardly any corona restrictions in the country with a good ten million inhabitants.

Sommerwelle: “I think BA.4/BA.5 will also prevail here”

Where does Germany stand in comparison to Portugal? In the case of the virus variants, the majority is still the same Omicron subline BA.2 found, with well over 90 percent. Previously, many people had been involved in the omicron wave BA.1 infected. The RKI continues to report declines in hospital numbers. BA.4 and BA.5 have basically been known for a few weeks. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies both as part of Omicron as “worrying” a. The share of BA.4 is growing in this country also, but so far only easy and in the range of less than one percent.

the Virologist Sandra Ciesek from the University Hospital Frankfurt recently wrote on Twitter about the subvariants first described in South Africa: “I think BA.4/BA.5 will also prevail here.” According to initial findings, they would escape through genetic changes even stronger Antibodies from vaccinated and recovered people. Initial data from people infected with BA.1 let no protection against infection expect with the other two subtypes. There was a particular threat of infection if the previous infection or vaccination a long time ago.

So far there is no evidence that the disease severity has changed significantly with the two subtypes, Ciesek wrote. One must continue to monitor this. In view of the ongoing for some time Adaptation of corona vaccines to Omicron she stated: “Unfortunately, you also realize that we have adapted with a BA.1 Vaccine probably running after again will. We have to get better and faster here.” The ones available so far Vaccines are still aimed at the 2020 virus. Changed properties since then due to mutations had also surprised experts.

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Lauterbach is cautious on Twitter

Federal Health Minister Lauterbach was unusually reserved on Twitter: “There could actually be a summer wave. It’s not certain yet. Nevertheless, now is the time to start preparing for autumn. This has also already started. An autumn like before the pandemic is not yet realistic.”

“We must be prepared for virus variants”, Lauterbach said at a press conference in mid-May. In addition, a new infection protection law is to be introduced. The Prime Ministers of the federal states and Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had agreed on Thursday, early Precautions for a more critical corona situation in autumn hold true. Scholz then said that all options for action that were needed should be available – However, there should no longer be nationwide closures of schools and daycare centers.

The state health ministers unanimously had one possible catalog with mask requirements indoors and access rules such as 2G and 3G (Access only for vaccinated, recovered or tested). If a summer wave actually hits Germany, the federal states could declare themselves hotspots in order to enforce corona measures. Of the Epidemiologist Hajo Zeeb assumes that the Infection numbers will already increase in the next few weeks become – not only in autumn. The extent of the wave is not yet foreseeable.

If you want to stop the BA.5 wave, you have to vaccinate more

Who wants to stop waves through BA.4 and BA.5, have to vaccinate more – even those who have recovered, had the South African expert Tulio de Olivera thundered a few weeks ago. In the case of so-called hybrid immunity – that is what is meant Combination of infection and vaccination – According to the experiences there, breakthrough infections occur less frequently.

The development in Germany according to the RKI in detail: Made BA.5 0.6 percent at the end of April of the positive samples tested for variants, it was in the following weeks 1.2 and 2.5 percent. The latest available value for the week before last is already attached 5.2 percent. Should the trend continued would currently be expected to be even higher.

In addition, according to the report, the steady decline in the nationwide seven-day incidence stopped to be. In the week to May 29, the key figure fell by 37 percent compared to the previous week, the experts write. In the current week the decline in incidence has stagnated however. The RKI also calls for compliance with recommendations for avoiding infection. In particular, it appeals again to risk groups and people over 70 to deal with a second booster protect against serious illness.

Lauterbach on ZDF: Development of new vaccines is delayed

Federal Minister of Health Lauterbach said on ZDF: “Indeed, the development of new vaccines is currently being delayed somewhat because the manufacturers then have more problems generating the data that is necessary. We are definitely booked with several manufacturers, so I I’m sure we can offer everyone a good vaccine.” He expects that in the next few weeks.

Lauterbach was confident of being able to convince the coalition partner FDP to extend the Infection Protection Act and the mask requirement. With a view to a possibly more critical corona situation in autumn, the SPD politician said in the ZDF “heute journal” that Germany will “definitely be on September 23. have an Infection Control Act, which gives us the preparations we need.” The previous legal basis for the protective measures will expire on September 23. With a view to the mask requirement and the FDP, Lauterbach added: “I think we’ll agree there.”

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