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Is the End of COVID-19 Near?

Scientists from Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna project that by 2022 the pandemic will be over. However, it will not be the end of COVID-19. What can be expected from this disease in the coming months? In this article we will explain you what the projections are.

Person wearing a biosafety suit

Various experts have pointed out that the end of COVID-19, as a pandemic, could come in mid-2022. Photo: Pixabay

LatinAmerican Post | María Fernanda Ramirez Ramos

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Leer en español: ¿Se acerca el fin de la COVID-19?

Various experts have pointed out that the end of COVID-19, as a pandemic, could come in mid-2022. This fills humanity with hope, however, the return to normality brings great challenges in various areas. In addition, if something has made this virus clear, it is the unpredictability in its behavior and consequences. For this reason, victory cannot be claimed yet and it is necessary to maintain biosecurity measures and advance vaccination.

Although the aspirations of the experts point to the hope of the end of the pandemic for another year, there are factors that put this prediction at risk. The appearance of new variants is one of the main obstacles . That is why scientists insist on the need to achieve high immunization rates in all countries. Otherwise, the chances of new variants appearing, with greater virality, are higher.

Stéphane Bancel, executive director of Moderna, assured in an interview with the Swiss media Neue zürcher zeitung that with the rate of vaccine production, by 2022 there should already be enough doses to vaccinate all of humanity. With the immunization of the majority of the population, it is most likely that COVID-19 will become an endemic or stationary disease. “In this way we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu. You can get vaccinated and have a good winter. Or it doesn't and runs the risk of getting sick and possibly even ending up in hospital,” Bancel said.

In addition, the director of Moderna added that it is ideal to develop a vaccine that protects against respiratory viruses. In this regard, Bancel assured that a vaccine against the coronavirus and influenza should be possible in 2023 : "we will begin the clinical study for this combined vaccine before the end of this year."

You may also be interested in: The COVID-19 Vaccine In Numbers


Another topic that has been at the center of the discussion about the end of the pandemic is the application of booster doses. Recently, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to allow the use of a third dose for populations at higher risk 6 months after the second dose.

However, the global concern is that this measure generates greater inequality, since rich countries could monopolize vaccines to reinforce their population, while countries in the global south, which have had more difficulties in accessing vaccines, do not they would still have finished immunizing their people.

In this regard, the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, indicated, in an interview with ABC NEWS that for the company it is possible to provide both booster vaccines and doses for people who have not yet been vaccinated. He also indicated that next year it will be possible to return to "normality." However, he foresees that annual vaccination against this disease will be the norm from the next few years .

 

What are the challenges for humanity to end the pandemic?

On September 22, the Global COVID-⁠19 Summit was held, convened by President Joe Biden, in which state and private sector leaders were called upon to establish as a priority on their agendas the objective of putting end to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022. The event highlighted the need to rebuild global health policies that allow greater security and help prevent or adequately face future pandemics.

However, sanitary measures are not the only thing to consider. One of the most serious effects of the pandemic, in addition to the thousands of deaths and the health crisis, is its strong impact on the economy, which has also triggered social crises. For example, with migrants or inequality in Latin America. Similarly, damage to the environment and the acceleration of climate change must be priorities on global agendas .

According to the conclusions of the Independent High Level Panel of the G20 Presidency, it is necessary to create a Fund of Financial Intermediaries (FIF) to work for Global Health Security. The United States has already earmarked $ 250 million for this purpose and has requested an additional $ 850 million from Congress. World leaders assure that this fund will be essential for countries to develop their capacities to prevent, detect and mitigate threats to health. However, the great challenge is for the gaps between rich and poor countries to narrow.

Beyond achieving the end of the pandemic, it is necessary for world authorities to focus on promoting measures that allow populations to overcome the crisis left by the pandemic through economic, social and environmental policies.