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Here’s why epidemiologists believe even a vaccine won’t eradicate covid-19

Published on:29 May 2020, 14:12pm IST
While we can’t wait for the pandemic to end, experts suggest that the fight might not be short-lived. Even after a functioning vaccine, covid-19 may never end.
ANI
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The fight against covid-19 is far from over. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Being cooped up in our homes, the possible announcement of an effective covid-19 vaccine is giving us hope. Although, researchers believe that even after a vaccine is developed and deployed, SARS CoV-2 might be here to stay, becoming endemic like HIV, measles, and chickenpox. 

What is the possible future of covid-19?
Epidemiology experts state that it is integral for us to embrace the prolonged stay of covid-19 since it shall equip us with an arsenal to fight off this phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Although we’re all living amidst uncertainty in this contagion, the persistent existence of the virus is what we can count on.  

COVID-19 vaccine
SARS-Cov-2 shall soon join the endemic list. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

 We have already been living with four endemic viruses that cause the common cold, experts believe that covid-19 shall join the list. Although most people have not yet been infected yet we all remain susceptible to it. 

How must we learn to ‘live with it’?
An epidemiologist and evolutionary biologist, Sarah Cobey states: “This virus is here to stay but the question is how do we live with it safely?”

Experts believe that we need sustained efforts and a strong political will in order to combat endemic diseases. While we had just started to get used to the idea of a pandemic, we’re also dealing with the uncertainty of states opening the economy. 

The former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tom Frieden shared that collectively we’re facing an attention-deficit disorder.  “Everything we’re doing is just a knee-jerk response to the short-term,” he further shared. 

When asked about the action plan we all must follow, Frieden shared that we all must understand the need of a comprehensive battle strategy and implement it meticulously. 

covid-19
Experts say that even though a vaccine might not stop covid-19 transmission, but it shall still show up as mild symptoms. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

All hope is not yet lost! Even though the experts do believe the virus is here to stay, Andrew Noymer, an epidemiologist at the University of California states that it could exist in a relatively benign state. This observation suggests that it shall cause milder infections as our immune systems to develop a memory of responses to the virus. Although the process shall take time. 

What is the vaccine action plan as of yet?
While we do await a vaccine soon, the deputy director of the American federal government’s Vaccine Research Center, Barney Graham shared that the emerging plans for vaccination are presently stretching as far out as 10 years.

Although they have identified a possible problem in the despatching of vaccines. Experts identified that in the first few years of its emergence, the global demand will far outstrip the supply. If the international community fails to cooperate, the limited supply shall lead to hoarding and ineffective vaccination campaigns.

Will we all be able to create a broader perspective around the virus?
Well, the experts decline the possibility. They believe that most won’t be able to make the shift toward long-range thinking up till the infection spreads more widely and affects someone they know.

covid-19 vaccine
This is a long fight to win so buckle up with an open mind, ladies. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

While we all are presently conscious of maintaining sanitation and social distancing as the pandemic still makes news, most of us might forget to do so after the effect slows down. 

The director of the University of Minnesota in the US states: “It is like people who drive too fast. They come upon the scene of an accident, and for a little while, they drive more carefully, but soon they are back to speeding again.” 

Sadly experts believe that only after someone we know gets infected or dies from it, shall we learn what it takes to combat it. 

The takeaway?
While most countries and individuals are eagerly yearning for a quick fix vaccine that will offer us an end-all solution to the covid-19 contagion, the virus’s complete eradication is still a far-fetched possibility. To win the fight against it, we must shun ideas of a ‘quick-fix’ and keep taking continuous precautions since the battle to win is long. 

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