“A return to normal life can be expected before May,” said immunologist Dr Dusan Popadic, member of NITAG and vice dean of the Faculty of Medicine, adding: “I am confident that we will have drastically fewer newly infected people as early as mid-February and I expect that we will return to normal life in the spring, probably before May.”
“I am cautiously optimistic that the emergence of the Omicron strain could be the beginning of the end of the pandemic, meaning that there will be no need for additional Covid vaccines, even seasonal ones, because the virus is not seasonal in nature like influenza. I am not happy with the current situation, of course, because still a huge number of people are getting infected on a daily basis, especially medical staff. But I am hopeful that this may be the last big wave of this pandemic,” he said.
Asked when facial masks won’t be mandatory, the expert said it depends on the decisions of the Crisis Response Team. “I don’t know, it depends on what the Crisis Team will decide. But I think the epidemiological situation will be such that the risk of infection will be incomparably lower than it is now,” he said.
Israel has published a study showing that the 4th dose of the vaccine works against Omicron, but Dr Popadić believes that the 4th dose should be given only to vulnerable groups of population: “In the general population, the 4th dose doesn’t make much sense. But for some particularly sensitive groups, it could definitely bring benefits. These are mainly patients who suffer from certain diseases and are undergoing a therapy that reduces their immune defences and, of course, to people with primary immunodeficiencies,” he said.
This post is also available in: Italiano