Picking up where we left off last week, Editor Jeff D’Alessio asked the face of the U.S. battle against COVID-19 — DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — for his insight into how long the global pandemic will last.
“Pandemics always end, and this global nightmare too will end.
“It likely will take years; however, through public health measures and the equitable distribution and deployment of highly effective vaccines — those now authorized and other promising ones in development — the virus can be brought under control globally.
“The critical role vaccines play in bringing the virus under control has already been proven in countries like Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. Vaccination programs work because they increase the numbers of people who are ‘dead-end’ hosts for the virus — i.e. the virus cannot infect them — which stops ongoing virus transmission and slows the ability of the virus to both thrive and evolve.
“Because SARS-CoV-2 has already spread far and wide, ultimately it is possible and perhaps likely to become an endemic virus, continuing to circulate but at some much lower, non-pandemic level that is quite manageable, particularly if we vaccinate people at the global level.”