Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) warn: According to them, the corona pandemic is or has been very serious, but “not necessarily the biggest” we will know. That writes the British newspaper The Guardian.
According to the experts, the virus will inevitably become endemic, which means that the infectious disease will continue to spread despite the vaccines or the so-called herd immunity. After all, according to Professor David Heymann, we have misunderstood the concept of group immunity.
Heymann, who heads WHO’s strategic and technical advisory group on the risk of infection, warns during a press briefing, “The world has long pinned hopes on herd immunity, that somehow the potency of the virus would wane if enough people became immune. But the virus will continue to mutate.”
According to Mike Ryan, head of the WHO emergency program, the most likely scenario is that the coronavirus “remains a threat to some degree, but at a very low level, after an effective global vaccination campaign.”
A lot depends on those worldwide vaccinations, he adds. “It remains to be seen to what extent those vaccines will be administered and how close we will get to a vaccination level that allows us to eliminate this virus,” he said.
“The existence of a vaccine, even when it is highly efficient, does not guarantee the elimination or eradication of an infectious disease. The bar we have to cross is very high.”
“Not necessarily the biggest pandemic”
Ryan also warns that the next pandemic could be even more serious. “This pandemic has been very tough. It has hit every corner of this planet. But this is not necessarily the biggest pandemic. This is a wake-up call. We are now learning how to do things better: science, logistics, education, and management, communication. But the planet is fragile.”
We live, says Ryan, in an increasingly complex global society. Threats such as the coronavirus will persist. “If we have to take one thing with us from this pandemic, with all the tragedy and losses it has brought, it is that we have to get our affairs in order. We must honor everyone we lost to this pandemic by getting better at what we do every day,” he concludes.