According to Luxembourgish virologist Claude Muller, we are gradually moving away from the situation where the coronavirus represented a public health risk. It is becoming an individual infectious disease for which everyone must take responsibility.

In an interview with RTL, Professor Claude Muller, a virology specialist, explained that the coronavirus is less and less a threat to public health, with the virus increasingly evolving into an individual infectious disease for which "everyone must take responsibility".

The situation in hospitals has been one of the main factors in assessing the situation from the outset. Currently, the risk of hospitalisation or admission to intensive care is no longer as great as it was in the early stages of the pandemic.

Professor Muller stated that three quarters of "the age groups burdening the hospitals" are now vaccinated and the rest "do not come to hospital".

"Everyone has an individual responsibility"

As a result, the virologist thinks that the public aspect of the coronavirus has become much less important. Instead, the focus shifts on ensuring individual protection. Professor Muller stressed that everyone has an individual responsibility, as is the case with any disease. "Everyone is responsible for their own health", Professor Muller pointed out.

RTL

Professor Claude Muller, virology specialist at the Luxembourg Institute of Health. / © RTL

By individual responsibility, the virologist means, among other things, the vaccine, which remains the bedrock for Professor Muller.

Vaccinating as many people as possible is thus key, but on the other hand, if the restrictions remain as they are, "everyone can decide for themselves how much risk they want to expose themselves to, i.e. everyone can decide for themselves in what situation they use a mask and how much distancing they respect", Professor Muller stated.

Vaccination of children under 12

Claude Muller has no doubt that a third dose would provide even better protection but stressed that it must also be taken into account that there are countries where people have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated for the first time.

RTL

© Maxime Gonzales / RTL

From a strictly scientific point of view, Professor Muller describes cross-vaccinations, i.e. the use of another vaccine for the second or possibly the third injection, as "great". But the decision is ultimately political, he acknowledged.

At present, children under the age of 12 cannot yet be vaccinated against the coronavirus. In autumn, at the start of the school year, they will be the only ones who have not yet had the opportunity to protect themselves against the virus. This is a situation where parents have a great responsibility, the virologist pointed out, stressing that "they should get vaccinated".

A large number of parents who are all vaccinated can act as a "bell above the children" that will have a protective effect, Professor Muller stated.

In the short term, Professor Muller believes that it will also be possible to vaccinate children under 12 against the coronavirus. After all, vaccines against other types of diseases are mainly given to children.

Optimistic mood, infections on the rise

As of this date, there are again officially 944 active coronavirus infections. In recent days, many more people have been infected. Professor Muller has noticed a certain optimistic mood in recent weeks, which would explain the increase in numbers.

He explained that the holidays play an important role, as does the knowledge that one third of the population is fully vaccinated. While the numbers have fallen considerably at first, this also led to people gaining the impression that "the pandemic is over" with restaurants reopening, large gatherings once again taking place…etc. "People's behaviour is really pushing the infection process again", Professor Muller concluded.