Jena (dpa) – From the point of view of infectious disease specialist Jena Mathias Pletz, corona measures in schools should not be completely lifted during the new school year. “From everything we know about Delta, you can’t give up.”
The director of the Institute of Infectious Medicine and Hospital Hygiene at Jena University Hospital told the German News Agency. On the one hand, because the delta variant, which is now also widespread in Germany, could be more dangerous for children than the previous variants. And secondly, because many adults have not yet been vaccinated either.
In principle, children were less seriously ill than adults from Covid-19, Pletz said. Even compared to adolescents, children under the age of 14 have a significantly lower risk of getting sick. In a severe flu epidemic, for example, more children will die from Covid-19 than in 2020. “It remains to be seen whether this will still apply with Delta.” In the case of the variant, it is not yet known whether it is possibly responsible for more severe developments in children. “But there are reports from various parts of the world that the rate of hospitalization for children is currently increasing.”
Schools will certainly no longer be closed with such a low threshold
In Germany, too, the number of new infections and hospitalizations has recently increased in the 5-14 age group. According to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the seven-day incidence in this group increased from less than 30 to over 170 (as of September 2) in one month. The number of weekly hospital admissions with Covid-19 per 100,000 children has sometimes doubled to exceed 0.7. However, this figure was still below the level for other age groups. In all age groups, the value on Friday was 1.83.
“Schools certainly won’t close as easily as they are in 2020,” infectious disease specialist Pletz said. In view of what was happening, he advocated continuing to test regularly. In the first few weeks after vacation, when students meet for the first time after vacation, it makes sense to test and examine the infection process.
If you let the virus “rush” there would be another danger no matter how more dangerous Delta is to children: “Children can take the virus home from school and infect their unvaccinated parents. “. The quota of just over 60 percent of fully immunized people is still too low to lift all measures. In some models, there are already indications of the expected figures for the occupancy of intensive care beds, “which are in the range of the third wave”.
Unvaccinated corona intensive care patients remove others’ beds
The only way out is vaccination. It is now clear that vaccinations also offer better protection against transmission. Further: “Every corona patient who is treated in an intensive care unit because he did not want to be vaccinated takes the bed of another patient who is waiting for complicated tumor surgery, for example.” This does not apply to people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
You can’t predict how long it will take to become completely normal. “We have a lot of smart modelers. But individual human behavior, which plays the most important role, cannot be well represented in these models. The possible appearance of new variants is also decisive. If a variant immune evasion with high transferability emerges – that is, a variant that can evade immunity through vaccination or infection – “that may set us back a bit.” The advantage is that vaccines can be adapted relatively quickly.