This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention release The new guidelines on wearing masks for people who are fully vaccinated against covid-19 recommend that people living in high-spread areas wear masks again in public places. This move was made after the CDC obtained new data on Delta variants, which are the most spreadable coronavirus strains that have emerged so far-data shows that even if people who have been vaccinated have breakthrough infections, It is still possible to spread the virus to others.
All these recent developments can’t help but bring to mind an important question: Is there a chance now to control covid-19 before it reaches almost everyone in the world? If not, how should we face this reality?
Vaccines significantly help reduce the spread and damage of Covid-19, but they are not perfect
Some data to inform the CDC of the new guidelines are Released It was released to the public just this afternoon.But last night, the Washington Post Report Discuss the internal documents leaked by the CDC. Based on this data, which includes information about recent outbreaks among vaccinated and unvaccinated populations in Massachusetts, the CDC determined that Delta is not only more transmissible than the original coronavirus strain that spread widely last year, but also more transmissible. Strong compared with other well-known infectious diseases such as chickenpox. People vaccinated with mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) still seem to have high protection against Delta disease (about 80%) and serious diseases (up to 90%). But the CDC now suspects that vaccinated people will produce as many coronaviruses as people who have not been vaccinated. If so, it means that if they are indeed infected, they can spread it to other people. Importantly, they are still less likely to spread the virus than unvaccinated people, because they can prevent infection in the first place.
These conclusions are not necessarily static. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, estimated The regeneration number range of Delta (also called R0) is lower than the CDC range.Some scientists have be doubted Based on the PCR test results, whether the CDC’s confidence in the possibility of transmission by vaccinated people has been overstated.And key points emphasize again The CDC’s analysis shows that vaccinated people are much better than unvaccinated people on every indicator-even the risk of infection from Delta seems to be eight times lower, and serious illness and death The risk is even lower.
But the emergence of Delta and other worrying variants has made many scientists wonder whether it is possible to put the elves back in the bottle, so to speak.
Covid-19 may continue to exist, but the vaccine will make it manageable
It can even be traced back to the end of last year, when the first vaccines were released to the public, researchers from the World Health Organization led the current pandemic efforts warn Vaccination alone is unlikely to lead to the eradication of covid-19.Just this week, U.S. government scientists Report One-third of white-tailed deer found in several states have antibodies to the virus, indicating that they have been exposed to the virus in the past. Although this finding is not necessarily worrying (deer does not appear to be sick due to exposure), it may mean that the coronavirus will have many ways to continue spreading around the world.
Nature conducted a survey of more than 100 immunologists, infectious disease researchers and virologists engaged in coronavirus research in February 2021, of which nearly 90% agree Covid-19 is very likely or very likely to become an endemic disease, which means that the disease is always present at a certain level in the population.Although there are still some groups working on the idea of zero Covid-eliminating cases in a given area-more scientists have Become Vocal about They believe that covid-19 will inevitably become a common cause of human diseases, just like many other epidemics, such as influenza and common cold viruses.
Of course, the devil is in the details.Just because of a disease Endemic, This does not mean that it is not serious. Malaria is endemic in tropical regions of the world and remains one of the biggest killers of mankind, with more than 430,000 deaths Report 2017 is on a global scale. That is, despite the lack of vaccines (Currently, At least), in recent years, through specialized insect control and treatment programs, we have been able to reduce the spread and lethality of malaria. Due to high vaccination rates, other endemic and highly contagious diseases, including chickenpox, have also become less common in the United States. Ideally, this is still possible for 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 terrible variant, there are far fewer people at risk of death or serious injury compared to the world we have lived in the past year. half. High vaccination rates may not completely stop the spread, but will still help control its spread and reduce cases in the community. In turn, this kind of control will buy us time to deal with the less likely but possible more cryptic strains that may severely infect or even kill many vaccinated people. Fortunately, this has not happened yet. This situation.
However, currently only 28% of the world’s population is estimated Partially vaccinated and 14% were fully vaccinated. In the United States, there are still too many moderate vaccination rates that will allow Delta to spread like wildfire.Just yesterday, the United States once again Report The most cases in the world-for most of the time before the vaccine, it has maintained a disgraceful distinction.The number of hospitalizations and deaths is not expected to rise to the peak earlier this year, but Increase again. As before, people have died and will continue to die unnecessarily.
The vaccinated person is worried Increase Bring risks to yourself and your vulnerable loved ones Delta is nearby, which leads to Speculation Regarding the necessity of strengthening injections. Although the booster Eventually it may be necessary, especially for people with lower protection, such as the elderly or people with weakened immune functions. The biggest obstacle to reversing the COVID-19 trend is not vaccination — but Unexposed and unvaccinated.Herd immunity has not yet been reached, especially in the world, no matter how many Column I have hoped so since last year.Even if Delta does take the United States quickly, as it has done in the past In the UK and India, this does not guarantee that covid-19 will remain dormant from then on.
This latest peak resulted in Renew Used for vaccine authorization.The United States seems unlikely to pursue national authorization (and possibly limited Have the ability to do so), but more and more Private enterprise and Government department Are moving forward with them. However, if they come, mandatory requirements are only part of getting people vaccinated, and more work needs to be done to increase the vaccination rate.
If most people are now destined to eventually be exposed to covid-19, this does not mean that everything is beyond our control. We can still try to mitigate its spread in the latest or future waves, including through the use of masks, even if it spreads at a lower level in the community, through simple measures (such as staying at home when sick or wearing it when you have to go out) Mask) When you are sick——Even if covid-19 is not in the picture, it is a wise move. The slower it spreads now, Will have more time to vaccinate other parts of the world and young children and other populations, and strengthen the protection of high-risk populations such as immunocompromised persons. Covid-19 may continue to exist, but the degree of harm it causes still depends on us.