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Two Years On – What We’ve Learned About the COVID-19 Virus and Vaccines

Two Years On – What We’ve Learned About the COVID-19 Virus and Vaccines
April 01
14:18 2022

Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

Two years later, more than 6 million people have died. “Although reported cases and deaths are declining globally, and several countries have lifted restrictions, the pandemic is far from over – and it will not be over anywhere until it’s over everywhere”, said WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus.

Two years into the pandemic, subject matter experts from the CDC will update reporters on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in both the United States and globally; what to expect from possible new variants; how and why vaccines remain the most important preventive measure for all age groups. The EMS briefing on March 25 was the third in a series by the CDC to reach more diverse audiences through ethnic news media.

John T. Brooks, MD, Senior Science Advisor, CDC Emergency COVID-19 Response said that the number of confirmed cases of COVID in the United States in the past two weeks has reached a historical low. But there have also been small increases in confirmed cases in a small number of areas. The CDC has been closely monitoring the latest developments in the pandemic, including hospitalization rates and confirmed rates. However, Dr. Brooks also said that the current increase is actually a small increase from a lower base, so there is no need to panic, and the CDC is also cautious in interpreting the data. There is no evidence that this BA.2 variant results in more severe disease nor does it appear to be more likely to evade immune protection.

Dr. Brooks said early warning indicators are wastewater surveillance, an uptick in cases and hospitalizations, as well as gene sequencing that monitors for circulating variants. CDC studies have found evidence of coronavirus antibodies in 95% of the U.S. population.

Shannon Stokley, DrPH, Co-Lead, Vaccine Task Force, CDC Emergency COVID-19 Response re-emphasized the importance of vaccines. Even people who have already been infected are encouraged to get vaccinated to improve immunity and avoid severe illness if they are re-infected. The FDA could authorize a second booster this week for people 50 and up. The Biden administration wants to protect thousands now in case there is a new surge in the fall. Dr. Stokley said vaccination remains the most effective and safest way to prevent COVID-19. 

Also Read: Â­Â­Â­Â­Dr Balram Bhargava: one of India’s leading men behind containing COVID-19

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