The Covid-19 crisis update

origins of the coronavirus

The Covid-19 crisis update

The Covid-19 crisis became an official pandemic a year ago

  • Don’t be fooled by falling numbers of Covid-19, vaccine expert warns
  • From CNN’s Christopher Rios

Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, urged people not to be fooled by falling case number in coming months and warned of a second winter surge if people decide to forgo vaccination as warmer weather arrives.

“I think we are going to get fooled,” Offit said Thursday at a virtual event hosted by the Aspen Institute. “I think what’s going to happen is you’re going to see that as we enter the summer months, numbers are going to go down, people will think great, we’re good. They’re going to be less interested in getting a vaccine because they think that we’ve conquered this pandemic. And then, if we don’t get to what I think is going to be at least 80% population immunity from natural infection or immunization, when the winter comes, you’re going to see a surge again.”

Offit, a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory committee, cautioned people from declaring victory too early.  

“The test of whether or not we have successfully stopped the spread of this virus will come next winter,” he said. “If we can get 80%, which is probably another 120 million people that need to be vaccinated, which would, at 2 million doses a day, means we can do that by the summer, then I think when next winter comes, because this virus isn’t going away, we’ll see a bump instead of a surge, and that’d be the test of how well we’ve done with getting this in hand.”

And while there is reason for optimism, now is not the time to abandon proven mitigation practices, Offit said.

“You see Texas for example, saying we can all go back to business as normal that doesn’t bother me as much as that and they lift the mask mandate,” he said.