As low-income countries struggle to acquire doses for their citizens, wealthier countries struggle to get their people vaccinated. Nonetheless, it seems like COVID-19’s global eradication is possible.
A recently published paper, with University of Otago’s Dr. Nick Wilson as its lead author, states that coronavirus can be globally eradicated. Dr. Wilson said that the skepticism is not surprising. He said that the doubtful reaction of people is understandable but he pointed out that when smallpox eradication plans were introduced, there were millions of cases every year globally.
Is The Eradication Of COVID-19 Globally Possible?
The paper states that as coronavirus tears through every nation of the world, a concerted international effort can make a big difference. It is essential that we get more people vaccinated and stay a step ahead of emerging new variants.
The paper cites coronavirus eradication as a permanent reduction of a number to zero globally with continuous efforts. They’ve presented a primary assessment of eradicating the virus by comparing it with diseases like polio and smallpox which have been eradicated.
Primarily based on a longtime scoring system and further technical, financial, and sociopolitical factors that the authors included, the observer compiled a complete of 17 variables referring to vaccine-preventable illnesses, with a three-factor relative scale for each. Each of the illnesses acquired a rating in line with those metrics, with better values indicating a greater possibility of eradication.
Smallpox scored to be the maximum eradicable with a rating of 2.7. In assessment, COVID-19 scored 1.6, and polio scored 1.5.
The University of California and Los Angeles’s Fielding School of Public Health’s Dr. Robert Kim-Farley who wasn’t involved in the study said that the only possible way to achieve complete eradication will be through higher coverage of vaccination. Only this can lead us to herd immunity and transmission can finally cease.
Dr. Wilson, who doesn’t believe that herd immunity is required for eradication says that smallpox was eradicated without it. We should be more focused on vaccination targets. He argued that many countries have eradicated measles without achieving herd immunity.
The study notes that there is a risk of continuation of virus in non-human animal reservoirs. When Dr. Wilson was asked to comment on this, he said we are not there yet. He said that if we have a situation of influenza virus in animals or birds then eradication would not be possible or easy. He added that it is quite possible to eradicate diseases in some animals like in wild foxes rabies elimination through aerial bait drops filled with vaccines.
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Dr. Kim-farley noted what he believes would be an obstacle. He said that even though present vaccines provide protection against the virus, many breakthrough infections have been reported. He argued that while measles and smallpox always have symptoms and can be easily identified, coronavirus can present itself in an asymptotic way which can cause problems. Another problem can be the lack of mandates and politicization of vaccination and masks.
When Dr. Wilson was asked whether he believed in coronavirus’ eradication, he said that whether the community on a global level attempts it will be dependent on international expert groups. He said his current concerns were about broken global cooperation and vaccine nationalism.
Dr. Farley said that even if we do not achieve full eradication, the goal is worthy. If people seriously take vaccines and follow preventive measures, we can, on large levels, prevent hospitalizations and deaths.
According to the World Health Organization’s data, vaccines prevented around 10 million deaths between 2010 and 2015. Even now, scientists and medical experts have worked continuously in developing vaccines that can prevent us from getting infected by the deadly coronavirus.
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