A Finnish researcher estimates that the spread of the virus may take longer in Finland than in Germany.
Peoplewho do not take coronary vaccination will inevitably get coronavirus disease within the next year and a half, says director of the virology department at Charité Hospital in Berlin Christian Drosten.
He predicts in his blog post that people in Germany will still have to go to the intensive care unit next winter because of a serious coronavirus disease.
“Those who consciously choose not to get vaccinated should also be aware that they will inevitably get a coronavirus infection in a natural way,” Drostén says.
He therefore urges them to consider taking the vaccine again in the fall or winter at the latest.
Helsinki Professor of Zoonotic Virology, University Olli Vapalahti considers Drosten’s assessment to be reliable.
“I agree that as tourism and society liberate sooner or later, the virus will find its way into pockets in a population where there is no immunity. Of course, some may be overshadowed. This is how most infections work, ”he says.
However, Vapalahti estimates that the spread of the virus in Finland may take longer than in Germany. “The further away the area is, the longer it takes for the virus to spread.”
He predicts that “the coronavirus epidemic will be raging in the world for a long time to come, whatever measures were taken here”.
Health and THL Research Manager, Department of Welfare Merit Melin disagrees in part with Drosten. He cites studies that have shown that not everyone who is exposed to the virus gets infected.
“We don’t yet fully understand the reason for that,” Melin says.
Drosten emphasizes that he does not take any position on the ethical aspects of vaccination or whether vaccinations should be mandatory.
“Germany is a free country and everyone is free to choose. But those who choose not to get vaccinated also need to understand that they are choosing a natural infection at the same time. ”
In Germany, 72.6 percent of the population plans to take coronary vaccination.
“If 70 to 80 percent of people are vaccinated, the remaining 20 to 30 percent will get infected,” Drosten says.
The reason is that the virus will remain circulating in the population even after the restrictions are lifted. The virus can also infect vaccinated people who do not know they are carrying it. It also circulates in children under the age of 12 who are not expected to be vaccinated in Germany.
In Finland, people over the age of 16 are currently vaccinated. THL is currently investigating the extension of vaccinations to those over 12 years of age.
“The virus spreads unnoticed,” Drosten notes. “When it encounters an unvaccinated person, this is completely susceptible to infection.”
According to Drosten, how serious a disease is caused by a virus depends on a person’s age and his or her long-term illnesses.
THL: n Merit Melin puts her words more sparingly than Drosten: “If the coronavirus becomes permanently circulating in the population, like previously known seasonal coronaviruses, it is likely that those who have not previously encountered or been vaccinated will at some point become exposed to the virus and possibly become infected,” he says in an email.
However, not everyone exposed to the virus appears to be infected, according to Melin. He refers to a recent family study by the Department of Health and Welfare that has not yet been peer-reviewed.
It investigated the progression of coronavirus infection in households where at least one family member had been diagnosed with the infection. “Only about half of those exposed became infected, even though the exposure is strongest in the family circle. In other similar family studies, the proportion of those who continued to be infected has been similar or lower, ”says Melin.
Vaccination the idea is both to protect individuals and to form so-called herd protection, or herd immunity. It has helped eradicate dangerous diseases such as smallpox, polio and diphtheria from around the world.
Flock protection occurs when enough people become immune to the virus and the disease can no longer spread. Then even those who have not been vaccinated are believed to be protected from the disease.
How much of the population needs to be vaccinated to develop herd immunity varies. For example, flock protection for susceptible measles requires 95% vaccination coverage.
Coronavirus The European Union aims to have 70% of the Union’s adult population vaccinated by the summer.
Initially, the EU considered that it would be sufficient to guarantee herd protection. However, the current view is that 70% is not enough.
Chief Physician of THL Hanna Nohynek said on Wednesday at Yle’s A-studio it now appears that coronavirus herd protection would require vaccination coverage of more than 80 percent, even closer to 85 percent.
Vapalahti according to the virus infectivity rate and herd protection are interdependent.
“When there are a lot of limitations in society, the infectivity rate drops. During the epidemic, efforts have been made to limit people’s behavior so that the infectivity rate remains below one, ”says Vapalahti.
When restrictions are lifted at some point, the infectivity rate will inevitably increase. “In order for the virus not to spread at that point, immunity should be at a high level,” he adds.
As people begin to travel and attend mass events, the chances of the coronavirus spreading improve. “Even if the circulation of the virus is small in Finland, it is enough elsewhere,” he points out.
One the factor influencing the infections is that new virus variants are more susceptible to infection. Another is that the current testing system will hardly be maintained forever. Then you may not even know exactly where the virus is circulating.
“Of course, we don’t know for sure how the pandemic and vaccinations in the world will progress. However, the eradication of the virus from humanity is hardly possible, so herd protection is a rather weak insurance for a person who does not have the protection provided by either vaccination or a previously contracted coronary heart disease, ”Vapalahti concludes.