Expert: We Could Vaccinate Everyone on Earth and Not Eliminate the Coronavirus – Futurism

Posted: January 25, 2021 at 4:53 am

Even after vaccinating everyone on Earth against the coronavirus, COVID-19 could continue to spread.

Thats because scientists arent yet sure whether the vaccines currently being deployed actually stop disease transmission or if they merely prevent symptomatic disease, Trinity College Dublin immunologist and biochemist Kingston Mills told New Scientist. That means theres a chance the vaccine doesnt actually keep people from catching and spreading COVID-19, but simply makes them less likely to suffer from it.

Scientists are still trying to figure out whether the vaccines actually prevent the virus from spreading, butScientific American notes that it wouldnt be unheard of if they didnt the hepatitis B vaccine doesnt prevent transmission, for instance. If that ends up being the case,experts told SciAm, COVID-19 will remain a public health concern no matter how many people get vaccinated even after the pandemic finally ends.

I dont see that these vaccines will be eliminating SARS-CoV-2 any time in the coming years, Mills told New Scientist.

That said, mass vaccination will play a major part in ending the pandemics devastation, even if the coronavirus technically continues to spread and infect new people under the radar. Being able to prevent serious or even mildly symptomatic cases of COVID-19 will be a game changer in getting life back to normal, ending lockdown, and making it safe to once again be around other people.

The issue is that even when that happens, new cases of the coronavirus will likely pop up among those who didnt or couldnt get vaccinated if those who were inoculated can in fact still spread the disease. Plus, New Scientist notes, the coronavirus could theoretically mutate as it spreads among people or different animal species, potentially causing new outbreaks.

I think this virus is here to stay, Public Health England epidemiologist Susan Hopkins told New Scientist.

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Expert: We Could Vaccinate Everyone on Earth and Not Eliminate the Coronavirus - Futurism

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