Covid scientist predicts two pandemic scenarios for Spain this winter

Covid scientist Margarita Del Val predicts two pandemic scenarios in Spain ahead of winter

Covid scientist Margarita Del Val predicts two pandemic scenarios in Spain ahead of winter. Credit: CSIC.

A COVID scientist has predicted two pandemic scenarios for Spain as we head towards winter.

Margarita Del Val, a scientist and virologist at the Higher Center for Scientific Research (CSIC), has stated that if Omicron continues to circulate this Christmas, there will be two possible outcomes.

She believes that the highly contagious Covid-19 variant, which was first detected in November 2021, will either bring a wave of increased cases as we have seen so far – or something that presents as flu season, such as what the country saw in 2009.

Of her predictions, Del Val told “The typical Christmas wave of respiratory illnesses due to having locked ourselves indoors, or a season like the 2009 flu.”

While these predictions offer vastly different outcomes, De Val warned that this does not mean a decreased severity in any future variants of Covid.

“This virus and those that develop the disease after infection do not guarantee more attenuated variants in the future. It would be good if it didn’t change because we have a lot of immunity because of the infection and the vaccine,” she adds.

The director of the CSIC does state that if no new variants develop, “the wave could be almost benign” due to herd immunity. But she adds the caveat that due to the nature of viruses and variants, “we have no idea what is going to happen until we observe it.”

Speaking of Omicron sublineages and the new variants, she says: “All of them are versions of Omicron and we have immunity.

“It seems that it is difficult for there to be a change that gives the virus more transmission capacity, which is what really benefits it, unless there is a surprise, but there are no signs yet.”

Speaking of annual vaccination, such as with the flu, the virologist believes that due to how much better the Covid vaccines are, it should not be necessary.

“The coronavirus vaccines are better and the virus is less variable, so there is no reason, evidence, or data to think that it should be done every year. We don’t get vaccinated because of the waves of cases, we do it depending on how long the immunity lasts,” she concluded.

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Vickie S
Written by

Vickie Scullard

A journalist of more than 12 years from Manchester, UK, Vickie now lives in Madrid and works as a news writer for the Euro Weekly News.