The third wave of COVID-19 could hit Europe in the near future; if not enough people are vaccinated, the restrictions will return in the fall. Professor Lothar Wheeler, president of the Robert Koch Institute, said on Wednesday.

“In Europe, we should be afraid (of the beginning of the third wave of COVID-19). I don’t want to comment on other countries; we can all see the numbers. As for Germany, we are beginning the third wave. We have clear signals. And it is clear that public health measures, including reducing contact and wearing masks, are still valid,” he said at a press conference of the Association of Foreign Correspondents Accredited to the UN Geneva office.

According to him, states should comply with these measures to the maximum because they have helped save thousands of lives. The responsibility lies with the people themselves.

“In Germany, I see that the third wave has already begun. And this is particularly worrying. So we have to vaccinate as many people as possible in the shortest possible time; otherwise, we will get more serious cases than we can handle,” he said.

The head of the Koch Institute added that the vaccination had shown its effect, particularly among groups of older people in Germany, where the number of serious cases of the disease has decreased.

However, there is a risk of the situation getting out of control and the return of restrictive measures. For example, if a particular pharmaceutical company can’t produce enough vaccines or the media creates an image of vaccination dangers.

“If suddenly vaccination is not carried out, or an insufficient number of people are vaccinated for any reason, then I am sure that control in Germany and other European countries will return this fall,” the expert stressed.