How much longer will the pandemic continue in Germany?

How much longer will the pandemic continue in Germany?
People stand in line to wait for their jabs at a pop-up vaccination clinic next to Cologne Cathedral. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Banneyer
After a year and a half of the Covid pandemic in Germany, many are wondering how much longer terms such as '3G', booster jab and lockdown will have to remain in their vocabulary. 

According to one health expert, not too much longer. 

“I assume that in the spring of 2022, Covid-19 will be over,” Andreas Gassen, head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), told the Rheinische Post on Thursday.

“By then, the vaccination rate will once again be somewhat higher, but above all, the number of recovered people with antibodies will also increase. Restrictions will then probably become completely unnecessary.”

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Though vaccination rates have only been inching up slowly, almost two-thirds of the German population has now had at least one jab – and more than 60 percent are fully vaccinated. 

At present, politicians’ hopes of attaining ‘herd immunity’ in Germany are being held back in part by the fact that a significant age group (the under-12s) are currently unable to get inoculated.

By 2022, however, the secretary general of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), Florian Hoffmann, expects vaccines to be available for young children as well.

READ ALSO: OPINION: How to explain German vaccine hesitancy?

“We firmly expect that from next year there will be vaccines for all age groups, even approved for newborns,” the pediatrician told the newspapers of the Funke Media Group on Thursday.

Currently, various studies by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are underway, some even with infants. 

A vaccine for children under the age of twelve should be available as early as the end of this year, Hoffmann said, adding that this group is expected to get a reduced dose of vaccine.

Infections to rise in autumn

Despite his hopes that the pandemic will have run its course within six to nine months, Gassen believes the infection figures are due to rise steeply again in the autumn.

The number of severe cases, however, should remain well below last winter, he said.

The seven-day incidence of Covid-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people has been slowly rising for weeks.

On Wednesday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recorded a figure of 1.81 – which equates to around two percent of the incidence of Covid cases on the same day (75.7 per 100,000 people). The previous high was around 15.5 near Christmas last year.

READ ALSO: Covid infection rate in Germany goes up – but vaccines having impact on hospitalisations

However, the 1.8 incidence value is likely to reflect the Covid situation around a week and a half ago, since on average around ten days pass between an infection and hospitalisation.

The government has not set a critical threshold for the incidence of Covid hospitalisations, in part because of large regional differences in healthcare provisions and capacity.

As of Thursday, the weekly incidence of infections per 100,000 people had edged up once more to 76.9. Health authorities around the country reported 13,715 new cases of Covid-19 within a day, and 33 Covid-related deaths.

Vocabulary

Infants – (die) Säuglinge

foreseeable, probable – voraussichtlich

hospitalisation – (die) Krankenhauseinweisung

I assume that – Ich gehe davon aus, dass…

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.


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