Covid Pandemic is Nowhere Near the End

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In a recent CNBC interview, Dr. Larry Brilliant, an epidemiologist who was part of the World Health Organization’s team that helped eradicate smallpox, said that the delta variant is “maybe the most contagious virus” ever.

“I think we’re closer to the beginning than we are to the end [of the pandemic], and that’s not because the variant that we’re looking at right now is going to last that long” said Dr. Brilliant, who is founder and CEO of Pandefense Advisory, a pandemic response consultancy.

Only 15% of the world population has been vaccinated and more than 100 countries have inoculated less than 5% of their people. Unless we vaccinate everyone in 200 plus countries, there will still be new variants.

Dr. Larry Brilliant, Epidemiologist and SEO of Pandefence Advisory (source: CNBC)

Dr. Brilliant reportedly told that probability of emergence of a “super variant” was still low and vaccines work against it. While it’s hard to predict these things, it’s a non-zero probability, which means it cannot be ruled out, he added.

“It’s such a catastrophic event should it occur, we have to do everything possible to prevent it,” said Brilliant. “And that means get everyone vaccinated — not just in your neighborhood, not just in your family, not just in your country but all over the world.”

In a recent Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh symposium address, World Health Organisation (WHO) special envoy on Covid-19, Dr. David Nabarro reportedly said that emergence of new Covid variants will be a “regular” occurrence whilst Covid-19 continues to circulate.

The pandemic is nowhere near finished. And we are still seeing a really significant number of deaths – nearly three million.

Dr. David Nabarro, WHO Covid-19 Special Envoy (source: Independent)

Addressing the symposium, Dr. Nabarro reportedly said:

  • “Each week we have seen four and a half million cases being reported and know those are an enormous underestimate. And we are still seeing a really significant number of deaths – nearly three million.
  • “What I want to stress is that the pandemic is surging forward everywhere.
  • “The current UK situation is going against the trend of the global advancement… but please do not think this pandemic is over because it is not.
  • “With (cases) occurring at a local level, if they are not suppressed they lead to surges of disease and then explosive outbreaks.
  • “I have to stress that I am not 100% sure that the world is going to find it to easy to vaccinate itself out of this pandemic because the emergence of variants that are capable of escaping protection of current vaccines.
  • “With very large amounts of virus around there will be a regular arrival of new variants that are particularly troublesome. That variant problem is going on and on and on as long as we have got a lot of virus around.
  • “We should expect more variants to emerge and escape vaccine protection, that is inevitable, and so globally we should anticipate that this pandemic is going to go on roaring in parts of the world where there are large numbers of people infected.”

Covid Vaccine Boosters

Commenting on Covid vaccine boosters, Dr. Billiant reportedly said that some fully people 65-yrs and older may have weakened immune system may require vaccine boosters.

“It is this category of people that we’ve seen create multiple mutations when the virus goes through their body. So those people, I would say, should be given a third dose, a booster right away — as quickly as moving the vaccines to those countries that haven’t had a very high chance to buy them or have access to them. I consider those two things about equal,” Dr. Brilliant added.

Coronavirus-19 vaccination watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of August 12, 9 a.m.) 411,253,925 doses have been distributed and 353,859,894 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of August 10) a total of 5,600,974 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of August 12) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 623,527 (out of 10,897,756 tested) with 7,723 deaths.