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COVID-19 Pandemic Could Take Up 5 More Years Before It Is Effectively Contained, Experts Say

COVID-19 Christmas
COVID-19 Pandemic Could Take Up 5 More Years Before It Is Effectively Contained, Experts Say (PHOTO: Getty Images)

The UK government’s scientific advisers said that the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to ruin Christmas for at least the next five years. 

They emphasized that it will take a long time before the SARS-CoV-2 virus will settle to a predictable endemic, state in which the virus will still linger but does not threaten to overwhelm the health system. That means testing and vaccines will still be needed for more than a decade.

 

Christmas COVID-19

A woman walks past a window display with Father Christmas wearing a protective mask, during the second COVID-19 national lockdown in Lille, France, November 30, 2020. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

 

COVID-19 Will Ruin Christmas Festivities in the Next Five Years

The Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, Operational sub-group (SPI-M-O), the scientific advisory group of the government, warns that COVID-19 may not just cause havoc for Christmas this year but for the next five years as well. News outlet Mirror.co.uk reported that the group has considered many factors in assessing how long the pandemic will become less dangerous and found that it will take a long time.

This warning was made during a meeting on November 24 when they said that the path for COVID-19 to become endemic will depend on the rate of the waning of immunity and chosen policies on vaccination.

They noted that the virus will continue to be a threat to the public health system and will require continuous management, such as vaccination and surveillance. 

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Will Vaccines Protect People From Omicron?

The warning comes after the UK recorded new 75 cases of Omicron variant amid signs of a small amount of community transmission. Experts have previously warned that the new strain has mutations that may render vaccines ineffective.

According to Daily Record, SAGE scientists have warned that any significant reduction in protection against COVID-19 could lead to an outbreak, potentially resulting in high numbers of hospitalizations even with protection against severe diseases. As of now, the size of this possible wave remains uncertain and will require stringent response measures to avoid overwhelming the health system. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has already revealed that 38 countries have already detected Omicron variant but no death cases so far, Aljazeera reported.

RELATED ARTICLE: Moderna To Reformulate COVID-19 Vaccine Against Omicron