COVID-19 to remain around until next century: Expert

New York: Even as many countries are seeing a peak in Covid cases and some experts predicting the end of pandemic, an epidemiologist at Mayo Clinic in the US claimed that the infectious virus will remain around until the next century.

According to Gregory Poland, epidemiologist for the Mayo Clinic and editor-in-chief of the scientific journal ‘Vaccine’, the virus could be affecting humans for the next century, countering what some worldwide global health experts are saying, the Daily Mail reported.

“We are not yet at any stage where we could predict endemicity. We’re not going to eradicate it,” Poland was quoted as saying.

Poland noted that the virus has shown the ability to infect animals, meaning it can potentially circulate indefinitely as it transmits across species and continues to mutate, the report said.

He also believes that the virus will circulate for so long that people will still be receiving Covid shots for generations down the line.

“So let me make a prediction, which will be hard for any of you to hold me to because we will all be dead by then, but your great-great-great-grandchildren will still be getting immunised against coronavirus.

“How can I even say such a thing? If you got your flu vaccine this fall you were immunised against a strain of influenza that showed up in 1918 and caused a pandemic,” the expert noted.

Poland is not the only expert who has made such forecasts for the future.

Dr Anthony Fauci, US top infectious disease expert, warned last week that a new Covid strain could form that would dramatically alter the state of the pandemic like the Omicron variant did after Delta.

“I would hope that (Covid becoming endemic is) the case. But that would only be the case if we don’t get another variant that eludes the immune response of the prior variant,” Fauci said during a Davos Agenda virtual event.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, also warned this week that it would be dangerous to assume that Omicron is the ‘endgame’ Covid variant.


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