The virologist Christian Drosten still considers the much-discussed corona vaccine from AstraZeneca to be an important tool in the fight against the pandemic. There is no reason not to work with the British-Swedish manufacturer in Germany, said the Charité virologist in the “Coronavirus Update” podcast on Tuesday at NDR-Info. When he looks at the public discussion about this vaccine, he has the impression that a lot has been misunderstood.
“We have to do everything we can to vaccinate as quickly as possible,” said the virologist. “The vaccines we have are extremely good compared to what you might expect. There is always a fly in the ointment somewhere and some people look at it with the magnifying glass, “You shouldn’t do that. It is important that the vaccines minimize the risk of serious disease.
“With this you can achieve a breakthrough in pandemic protection for the population.”
Drosten also highlighted the simpler storage conditions – minus 70 degrees are not necessary – for the Astrazeneca vaccine compared to the Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna products. “With this you can achieve a breakthrough in pandemic protection for the population.”
It was recently announced that the Astrazeneca vaccine, in a variant initially discovered in South Africa, is less likely to protect against mild and severe courses of Covid-19. However, Drosten sees some limitations in the study. The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to recommend the use of the vaccine.
For Germany, the virologist considers the variant from Great Britain (B.1.1.7) to be particularly relevant, as he explained. Their share is growing in this country, as in other countries. New data from the Robert Koch Institute are expected this week. According to a study, B.1.1.7 does not mean any disadvantage for the protective effect of the Astrazeneca vaccine, according to Drosten.
“According to the current opinion, you should be vaccinated as soon as it is your turn”
Astrazeneca recently announced a new generation of vaccines for the fall, which should better protect against variants. Drosten made the role of manufacturers on the international market clear. “In Germany at the moment, with the current distribution of mutants, I would not assume that such an update would be needed in the near future.” “The current understanding is that you should get vaccinated as soon as your turn is due,” he said.
Astrazeneca’s remedy is a so-called vector-based vaccine and is recommended by the Standing Vaccination Commission for people aged 18 to 64 years. The mRNA vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna are more effective. In contrast to Astrazeneca, they already have more reliable data on seniors. The podcast episode was not about the side effects of the vaccination.
dpa / ft