(TheDailyHorn.com) – Society is ready to leave COVID-19 behind heading into 2022. There were high hopes we would see it end in 2021, but that was just a dream. Now, looking ahead, people are wondering if we can beat it in the new year.
According to Dr. Joshua Sharfstein from Johns Hopkins, it is too early to know if the pandemic will end in 2022, but current predictions are not looking good.
On the October 1 episode of Public Health on Call, host Shaun Truelove, an infectious disease epidemiologist, interviewed Dr. Joshua Sharfstein about his COVID-19 predictions. They talked about a modeling hub and what it says about the next six months.
They predicted for the beginning of 2022 would bring with it an increase in new cases. Dr. Sharfstein said this growth would continue through March. The model didn’t go beyond that point, so it is difficult to say when the peak may come.
The models also estimated about 400 deaths per day during the projection period.
Dr. Sharfstein said the introduction of vaccines for children is the best thing that can happen. Looking at the data from the modeling hub, he feels that opening up vaccination for that group can help tame variants and thus improve the pandemic in 2022.
The modeling hub Dr. Sharfstein referenced involved the creation of nine teams of experts and researchers from Johns Hopkins, Northeastern University, the University of Southern California, the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina, and Columbia University. The study used potential scenarios involving various conditions to determine what could happen if certain things occur or do not occur.
The conditions involved the issuance of vaccines for children and the emergence of new variants. The study used four scenarios, but the first two scenarios are already obsolete because they relied on an absence of new variants beyond Delta. The emergence of Omicron rendered these situations void.
The last two scenarios assumed the presence of a new variant that is more transmissible than delta, which is true of omicron, but the fourth model assumes there is no child vaccine. So, the most likely scenario used was the third, which assumed a new variant and the introduction of child vaccination.
The news from this prediction is bleak, but it is not guaranteed. The situation has already changed since October. There is a new variant, and vaccines are available to everyone aged 5 and up. It is difficult to know if other changes may happen that will help to wipe out COVID-19 sooner rather than later.
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