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Will everyone end up contracting Covid-19? It’s Complicated


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Photo: Ed Jones (Getty Images)

This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a new camouflage guide for those fully vaccinated against covid-19 recommending that people living in high-transmission areas should wear masks again while in public. The move comes after the CDC received new data on the Delta variant, the most transmissible strain of coronavirus yet to emerge – data that suggests that even vaccinated people who develop breakthrough infections can still transmit the virus to others.

All of these recent events cannot fail to lead to an important question: is there now a chance to contain covid-19 before it reaches almost every person in the world? And if not, how can we live with this reality?

Vaccines significantly reduce the spread and damage of Covid-19, but they are not ideal

Some of the data that served as the basis for the new CDC leadership were came out to the public this afternoon. But last night the Washington Post reported leaked internal documents from the CDC discussing this. Based on this data, which includes information about a recent outbreak among vaccinated and unvaccinated people in Massachusetts, the CDC determined that Delta is not only much more infectious than the original coronavirus strains that spread widely in the past year, but also more infectious. than other known contagious diseases such as chickenpox. People vaccinated with any mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) still have significant protection against Delta disease (about 80%) and very high protection against severe diseases (over 90%). But the CDC now suspects that vaccinated people who are actually infected can produce as much coronavirus as unvaccinated people. If so, it would mean that if they do get infected, they can pass it on to others. It is important to note that they are still less likely to spread the virus in general than unvaccinated people, as they have protection from infection in the first place.

These findings are not necessarily set in stone. In other countries, such as the UK, assessed smaller play range for Delta (also known as R0) than CDC. Some scientists have already in doubt whether the CDC’s confidence in the likelihood of transmission from vaccinated individuals, based on the results of PCR testing, is overestimated. And the key point re-emphasize is that vaccinated people still live much better than unvaccinated people on all counts – even the risk of contracting from Delta appears to be eight times lower, according to CDC analysis, while the risk of serious illness and death is still more reduced.

But the emergence of the Delta and other disturbing options has already made many scientists skeptical about the possibility, so to speak, of pushing the genie back into the bottle.

Covid-19 likely to remain, but vaccines will make it manageable

Back late last year, when the first vaccines were introduced, researchers from the World Health Organization took the lead in ongoing efforts to tackle the pandemic. warned This vaccination alone is unlikely to lead to the eradication of COVID-19. And literally this week, U.S. government scientists reported that a third of white-tailed deer in several states have been found to have antibodies to the virus, suggesting past exposure. While this discovery isn’t necessarily worrying (the deer didn’t seem to get sick from their exposure), it likely means that the coronavirus will have a variety of ways to keep circulating around the world.

Almost 90% agreed that it is very likely or very likely that covid-19 will become endemic, that is, a disease that is always present at a certain level in the population. And while there are still groups dedicated to Covid Zero – eliminating cases in a specific area – more and more scientists become vocals O their confidence that covid-19 will inevitably remain a regular cause of human disease, like many other infections that have become endemic, such as the flu and common cold viruses.

The devil, of course, is in the details. Just because the disease endemic, this does not mean that it is not serious. Malaria is endemic in all tropical parts of the world and remains one of the most serious killers of humankind, with more than 430,000 deaths. reported worldwide in 2017. Moreover, despite the lack of a vaccine (nowat least), in recent years we have been able to reduce the spread and mortality of malaria through special insect control and treatment programs. Other endemic and highly contagious diseases, including chickenpox, have also become much less common in the United States due to high vaccination rates. And ideally this is still possible with covid-19.

We still need to buy time for higher vaccination rates

In a world where most people are vaccinated against covid-19, even with Delta or the next dire option, there will be far fewer people at risk of death or serious injury than in the world we have lived in over the past year. and half. High vaccination rates may not completely prevent transmission of the virus, but it will still help control its spread and lead to fewer cases in the population. This control, in turn, will give us time against an unlikely but possible scenario of much more evasive strains that can seriously ill and even kill many vaccinated people, which, fortunately, is not currently happening.

However, right now only 28% of the world’s population assessed received partial vaccination, and 14% are fully vaccinated. There are too many outbreaks of medium vaccination left in the United States to allow Delta to spread like wildfire. Just yesterday the USA again reported the vast majority of cases in the world are a shameful distinction that she maintained for most of the pre-vaccine era. Hospital admissions and deaths are not expected to rise to the peaks seen earlier this year, but they are. increase again. As before, people died and will die unnecessarily.

It is clear that vaccinated people are worried about grew risk yourself and vulnerable loved ones with Delta around and this led to speculation about the need for booster shots… While boosters may ultimately be required, especially for people with lower levels of protection, such as the elderly or immunocompromised, the biggest obstacle to changing the COVID-19 situation is not vaccination, but unirradiated and unvaccinated. Herd immunity is not achieved, especially around the world, no matter how much columns with comments have wished for this since last year. And even if the Delta quickly burns through the United States, as it seems to have happened in Britain and India, this is no guarantee that covid-19 will remain dormant from then on.

This latest surge resulted in renewed call for vaccines. The United States is unlikely to fulfill a national mandate (and possibly limited in its ability to do so), but more and more private business and parts of government move along with them. However, if they come, prescriptions are only one part of the equation for vaccinating people, and more will need to be done to improve rates.

If most people now are destined to eventually be exposed to COVID-19, that doesn’t mean things are out of our control. We can still try to mitigate its spread during this latest or future waves, including with masks, and even when it circulates at a low level in communities, through simple measures such as staying at home when sick, or wearing a mask. if you should be absent. during illnesssmart act, even if the coronavirus was not in the photo… The more we slow down its spread now, the more time you have to vaccinate the rest of the world and populations such as young children, and to strengthen protection for high-risk groups such as immunocompromised people. Covid-19 may remain, but the amount of harm it can do is still up to us.

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