COVID-19 is ‘here to stay’ and won’t be eliminated anytime soon, experts say – .

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COVID-19 is ‘here to stay’ and won’t be eliminated anytime soon, experts say – .


TORONTO – As the number of COVID-19 cases declines, experts warn COVID-19 will persist even after the majority of adults are fully immune, but outbreaks could be much less devastating.

“The virus is going to be with us for the long term, I think it’s here to stay,” said Dr. Anna Banerji, infectious disease expert at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

Experts cite the 1918 influenza pandemic as an example of a virus that a century later has not completely disappeared.

“One version of this virus still exists, in different forms, it has mutated in different ways,” said Dr. Fahad Razak, internist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

“Given the degree to which the current COVID-19 pandemic has spread, I think most people expect some form of it to persist perpetually. “

Toronto Western Hospital declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on Monday, in which some of those infected received two doses of the vaccine.

“We’re still going to see some diseases transmitted from those who have already been immunized, but they are likely to be asymptomatic or have very few symptoms,” said Dr Dale Kalina, infectious disease physician at Joseph Hospital. Brant. .

“But it’s important to recognize that it’s those who haven’t been vaccinated who will pay the price for the disease. “

Outbreaks causing larger disease could still occur in groups and communities with low vaccination rates, experts say.

Children under the age of 12 currently cannot be vaccinated in Canada and will remain at risk of catching the virus, said Dr Banerji.

“The population of less than 12 years old, it will circulate in this population. Usually it will be mild, mainly a runny nose, sore throat, or asymptomatic, but sometimes you are going to have a child who gets very sick. “

According to doctors, establishing herd immunity among eligible adults will be essential to protect those who cannot be vaccinated, including with potential booster shots down the road.

“No one has a crystal ball, but we’re expected to need boosters,” Dr Razak said. This extra layer of protection, he said, could deal with any mutations in the virus and also fight any waning immunity.

At this point, however, experts say a double dose of the existing vaccine is the best weapon against the virus, which is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

“There will be some semblance of COVID in Canada for years to come,” said Dr. Kalina.

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