This Is When We'll Be "Done" With the Coronavirus, Doctor Says
You'll be surprised by how long it will take before we're done with COVID-19.
We're currently living in a world completely preoccupied with the coronavirus, and there seems to be no end in sight. If you find yourself wondering when this virus will stop wreaking havoc on the world, you're not alone. There is a broad spectrum of speculation about what needs to happen and how long it will take to get to the point when COVID-19 is considered under control. According to one prominent doctor, a certain portion of the population would have to get immunity in order to consider ourselves "done with" the coronavirus.
"I assume that we will only be done with this virus when more than 90 percent of the global population will get immunity, either through infection or through a vaccine," Ugur Sahin, MD, co-founder and chief executive officer of BioNTech SE, told The Wall Street Journal. Sahin says that because of the pervasiveness of the virus, reaching this level of immunity could take about a decade—even if multiple vaccines become available within the next year.
According to Johns Hopkins University, herd immunity occurs when most of a population is immune to an infectious disease, thereby providing indirect protection to those who are not immune to the disease. For example, "If 80 percent of a population is immune to a virus, four out of every five people who encounter someone with the disease won't get sick (and won't spread the disease any further)," an article on the Johns Hopkins website says.
Sahin's company is working towards creating a vaccine which he says will be ready to apply for approval by the end of the year. The company seeks to produce up to several hundred million doses even before they gain official approval—and over 1 billion by the end of 2021, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sahin says that it's only through these vaccines and individuals gaining immunity after recovering from COVID-19 that the world will be able to achieve immunity in 90 percent of the population.
For more information on fighting against COVID-19, check out Your Immunity to Coronavirus Might Only Last This Long, Study Says.