An epidemiologist familiar with the situation told CNBC that the pandemic is not going to be over anytime soon because only a small portion of the world’s population is currently vaccinated against Covid-19. Larry Brilliant says that the delta variant is the most contagious virus ever recorded.
There has been a rash of outbreaks in recent months of a highly transmissible delta variant of the virus in the United States, India, China, as well as other countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia. In March 2018, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic – after the disease spread from China to other parts of the world over recent months.
Legendary Epidemiologist Larry Brilliant Believes That The World Is Far From Being Overrun By The Pandemic
In regards to the efficacy of vaccines against the delta variant, Brilliant told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” that those using messenger RNA technology and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine were holding up, albeit to a lesser degree. Yet, less than 5% of the entire global population has been vaccinated and over 100 countries have vaccinated less than 5% of their populations, noted Brilliant.
Mr. Brilliant stated that he believes that we are closer to the beginning than the end of the pandemic. This does not mean that the variant to be examined is going to last that long. As its founder and CEO, Pandefense Advisory now offers pandemic response consulting services. Even if everyone in 200 countries is vaccinated, he predicted that there will still be new variants of the virus, making it a “forever disease” like influenza.
A ‘super variant’ is more likely to occur
According to Brilliant, his model predicted a “V-shaped inverted epidemic curve” for the recent Covid outbreak in San Francisco and New York. That predicts rapid increases in infections, but a fast decline in them, he explained.
Brilliant explained that if the prediction turns out to be accurate, the delta variant spreads so rapidly that there aren’t many people standing in line to be infected. An almost identical pattern can be seen in the UK and India, where delta spreads have declined from recent highs.
As of Thursday, around 26,000 cases had been reported every day in the UK on a daily average basis, down from around 47,700 cases reported on July 21. The statistics were compiled by the online database Our World in Data. Since late June, the daily average in India of reported cases has remained below 50,000 – far below the maximum of almost 390,000 in May, the data show.
According to that, the trend may be a six-month phenomenon in a country rather than a two-year trend. There may be more to come, although this is the delta variant, and there are still Greek letters to be found, he said.
Brilliant emphasized the need to do everything possible to prevent catastrophic consequences should they occur. Vaccinations must be conducted all over the world, not only in your town, not just in your family but everywhere.
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Boosters for the COVID vaccine
U.S. and Israeli governments plan booster vaccinations for their populations, where vaccination rates are relatively high. The first batches of vaccines for some, such as Haiti, arrived only recently. The WHO is urging wealthy countries to postpone Covid vaccine boosters to give people in low-income countries the opportunity to be vaccinated.
A booster shot should be given right away to an age group that needs it most – those people 65 and older who had their vaccinations more than six months ago but do not have a strong immune system.
When the virus goes through the body of these people, we have seen multiple mutations, the epidemiologist noted. Those people, I would say, should get a booster immediately, as well as selling vaccines in countries that don’t have many chances to buy or access them. Both of those things are equally important to me, he said.