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It’s too soon to say Omicron is the end of pandemic: Dr. Fauci

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It is too early to tell whether Omicron will put an end to the Covid-19 pandemic, and there may be another variant with similar vaccine evasion potential, according to top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci.

Fauci stated at the Davos Agenda virtual event on Monday that “natural vaccination,” or immunity through previous infection, may not be as effective as some believe.

Like Omicron, there is a chance that a new variant will emerge in the future that will be able to evade the natural immunity provided by infection with the new strain.

While Omicron appears to cause less severe disease than other variants, Fauci believes that the sheer number of cases could have a significant impact on collective immunity.

“It is an open question as to whether or not Omicron is going to be the live virus vaccination that everyone is hoping for, because you have such a great deal of variability with new variants emerging,” Fauci was quoted as saying by the New York Times.

“I would hope that that’s the case,” he said, “but that would only be the case if we don’t get another variant that eludes the immune response”.

Furthermore, Fauci stated that the pandemic’s evolution is still unknown.”The answer is: We do not know,” he said.

According to him, the world is still in the first of five phases of the pandemic, according to the NYT report.

The first is the “truly pandemic” phase, “where the whole world is really very negatively impacted”, followed by deceleration, control, elimination and eradication.

He said that smallpox is the only infectious human disease that has ever been eradicated, but “that’s not going to happen with this virus”.

However, the virus, like rhinovirus and some upper respiratory infections, can become endemic. It is possible once countries reach the “control” phase, when the virus becomes a “non-disruptive presence,” according to him.

About the author

Brendan Taylor

Brendan Taylor was a TV news producer for 5 and a half years. He is an experienced writer. Brendan covers Breaking News at Insider Paper.

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