MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. The further development of the coronavirus pandemic will be determined by such processes as the emergence of new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and a lowered herd immunity, virologist and corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Lukashev told TASS on Monday.
"The main trends of the pandemic’s development now are the emergence of the virus’ new variants and a drop in herd immunity for absolutely natural reasons. And precisely the dynamics of these processes will determine the development of incidence in the future," he said.
That said, if the drop in herd immunity is relatively predictable, then it is very difficult to predict the emergence of the new variants of the virus, the scientist added.
"If the dynamics of the emergence of the new variants are the same as during the most part of 2022, then we don’t expect any surprises in terms of incidence. Yet because the virus is new, we don’t know the limits of its variability, for example, the emergence of the Omicron variant a year ago was completely unexpected for us. This is why we cannot be certain that such changes won’t happen to the virus in the future," the virologist noted.