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Slim chances for COVID-19 to die out, says Russian expert

In order to eliminate the virus, a lot of factors must be taken into consideration, including the effectiveness of the vaccines regardless of the virus mutations

MOSCOW, September 28. / TASS /. The chance that COVID-19 will be completely eliminated is getting smaller and smaller, while its seasonality will depend on further mutations and inoculations, Andrei Chaplin, a microbiologist, Associate Professor of the Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University’s Department of Microbiology and Virology, stated on Tuesday.

"Earlier, people believed that we would be able to completely eradicate the infection as soon as herd immunity was achieved. But now, as time goes by, there remains less and less faith in this. For complete elimination, it is necessary, first of all, to immunize everyone, second of all, the vaccines must be highly effective regardless of the virus mutations. And here, we cannot yet make any predictions. Thirdly, we do not vaccinate children so far, and, finally, there is no guarantee that if [the virus] is expelled from the human population even for some time, it will not spread again from animals. Anyway, [COVID-19] is likely to stay with us for a long time," Chaplin said on the Stopcoronavirus portal on TikTok.

Speaking about whether COVID-19 will become seasonal, the microbiologist noted that much would depend on how fast it mutates in the future. "Meanwhile, if after several vaccinations <…> people develop strong immunity or if perhaps new jabs appear, it can transform into an infection with local outbreaks among unvaccinated people, the same as measles," Chaplin explained.

Russia’s Health Ministry, jointly with the Stopkoronavirus.rf portal, has launched a number of live broadcasts on Tiktok from September 22 to 28 devoted to inoculation against COVID-19. Different experts in the field of infectious diseases, oncological pathologies, microbiology, surgery, and geriatrics answer questions posed by the public.