The unprecedented global spread of the Omicron variant, together with the unprecedented global vaccination efforts including in Qatar, increase the likelihood to establish the level of herd immunity that will change COVID-19 from a pandemic virus into one that is endemic and seasonal, similar to influenza virus, according to a microbiology expert.
“The policies and restrictions that have governed how we survive against the virus for the past two years will need to change as we adjust to a co-existence with COVID-19. As we transition into the endemic phase of this COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential that we develop a greater awareness of our own individual responsibility in the spread of infectious diseases, in terms of both protecting ourselves as well as protecting others,” said Dr. Patrick Tang, Division Chief of Microbiology at Sidra Medicine.
“As a result of this pandemic, we no longer doubt the importance of face masks, we have been able to massively scale up our capacity for molecular testing of infectious diseases, we are able to track the spread and evolution of an infectious agent in real time through genetic sequencing, and we have developed new technologies for highly effective vaccines as well as effective therapeutics to treat a novel virus,” he added.
Dr.Tang said that although the most recent COVID-19 variant remains a concern as Omicron has proven to be highly transmissible and able to evade immunity from vaccination and previous infection, however, we are also extremely fortunate that Omicron has been less severe than previous variants.
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