• Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022
  • Last Update : 03:32 am

Expert: Vaccine unlikely to eradicate Covid-19

  • Published at 02:58 pm August 31st, 2020
Flie photo_Covid-19 vaccine_Reuters_14.08.2020
Representational photo: Reuters

While top researchers like Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci are optimistic that a vaccine will be ready in 2021, Dr Campbell pointed out that there are still a lot of questions regarding the virus

A top Yale pathologist has hinted that the ongoing pandemic centring Covid-19, the highly infectious and potentially deadly virus which continues to pile up cases across the US along with the rest of the world, is here to stay "indefinitely."

"It's going to tail off, not end abruptly," said Sheldon Campbell, a laboratory medicine specialist at Yale Medicine and professor of laboratory medicine at Yale School of Medicine, Yahoo Lifestyle quoted a report by Eat This, Not That! Health. 

"I think Covid-19 will be with us indefinitely," he added. 

We are unlikely to eradicate it

Dr Campbell explained in the report that despite the fact that the measles vaccines which was developed in 1963, and further enhanced in 1968 and MMR in 1971, was "absolutely superb," fifty years later it is yet to be eradicated. 

"Covid is quite infectious, there are many asymptomatic cases to maintain it in a population, so we are unlikely to eradicate it like we did SARS," he said.

While top researchers like Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci are optimistic that a vaccine will be ready in 2021, Dr Campbell pointed out that there are still a lot of questions regarding the virus. 

"Will a vaccine block transmission or merely attenuate or limit symptoms? How many doses, how far apart? How effective will it be at preventing illness/death/transmission (each of those is a different number; the last one particularly hard to get at). And very critically, how many people will take it?" he asked.

As far as testing goes, his area of interest, there are a lot of ideas sparking curiosity that could significantly improve the efficiency of testing—which could be incredibly beneficial as complementary approaches to controlling the virus, the report said. 

"Emerging technologies might produce a self-administered test that would detect high viral loads [the most infectious state] for around a dollar. They would not detect every positive; but maybe most highly-infectious people," he reveals.

"Perhaps-Optimistic" Scenario

In the report, Dr Campbell best-case "perhaps-optimistic" scenario in achieving a "new normal" status was stated as: "The country figures out that, hey, masks aren't that awful—seems to be happening now to a degree. This current surge levels off and slowly declines because of social distancing, but bursts of infection continue in various places; possibly more so come winter. The vaccine trials go well. Trickles of cheap, rapid tests are also becoming available and were used in populations without vaccine coverage. We find and isolate patients sooner. Levels of disease decline to those seen in Europe now, say. New outbreaks are quickly contained, and the country gradually moves to a 'new normal' about a year from now."

How to avoid Covid-19

Advice from scientists: Wear your face mask, get tested if you think you have coronavirus, avoid crowds and house parties, practice social distancing, only run essential errands, wash your hands regularly, disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest.

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