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COVID-19 : Coronavirus | Virologist García Sastre predicts what summer will be like

The coronavirus pandemic is advancing and, despite the data continues to decrease day by day after reaching the peak of infections of the third wave, it is advisable to continue maintaining the containment measures to curb infections. The approval of more and more vaccines brings, little by little, the return to a normal life, or at least as close as possible.

In the meantime, vaccination will be important for to be able to enjoy moments with ours again just as we did before the arrival of SARS-CoV-2. Adolfo García Sastre, director of the Institute for Global Health and Emerging Pathogens of the Mount Sinai Hospital (New York), notes that “we may need to be revaccinated, but the amount of hospitalizations that will cause, even the new variants, will be much lower, the situation will be more manageable. “

In an interview with the program El Cascabel (Trece TV), the virologist assures that COVID will be flu-like “once we get to the end of the year”. Before that, in summer, the situation could already begin to reverse. “If nothing happens and we make an effort, there will be enough people vaccinated in summer to make a big impact in a matter of number of infections and hospitalizations. Much will be said about what will happen again in winter, if it will return or not, we are going to talk about the variants, whether they are going to infect us or not, “he says.

New variants and vaccination

Regarding the appearance of new variants, highlights the “greater transmission of the British variant”, while the South African and Brazilian “decrease the neutralizing capacity of antibodies”. However, says García Sastre, “those generated by vaccination are so high that they cover these variants. If the efficacy falls from 95% to 70% there will still be a big impact to decrease the circulation of the variants. There will always be partial immunity “, reassures the expert.

Origin of the virus

In recent weeks, the World Health Organization (WHO) traveled to Wuhan to try to clarify the origin of the virus. After that, they do not rule out any hypothesis of how SARS-CoV-2 could arise. Regarding this, the virologist leaves aside the one who says that he could have escaped from a laboratory. “It is not so easy to make a virus like this, because many genomes need to be tested to get one that does what the virus does, while in nature it does it constantly“.

Thus, García Sastre bets on the natural origin of the pathogen. “There are a lot of animals, and that makes genetic variation a lot morer and you can find a variant that is the one that wins, which is what has happened. “