The pandemic has lasted longer than most of us expected. As 2020 turned into 2021, and public health continued to be affected, it seemed like an end was nowhere near in sight. Finally, it appears that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – and that information is coming from Moderna, one of the biggest distributors of the Covid-19 vaccine.
When Will the Pandemic End?
According to Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive at Moderna, the pandemic will end a year from now. When speaking with Neue Zuercher Zeitung, a Swiss newspaper, he said, “If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this earth can be vaccinated. Boosters should also be possible to the extent required.”
Some people might respond to that statement with skepticism – after all, just because we have enough vaccines for all doesn’t mean that everyone will get vaccinated. In fact, we estimate that herd immunity will only occur when 85% to 90% of people are vaccinated. We’re currently at 56.6% in America. Worldwide, only 35% of people are vaccinated. Worldwide health is still largely at risk.
Although these numbers might appear grim, Zeitung still believes things will be back to normal one year from now. “Those who do not get vaccinated will immunize themselves naturally, because the Delta variant is so contagious. In this way we will end up in a situation similar to that of the flu. You can either get vaccinated and have a good winter. Or you don’t do it and risk getting sick and possibly even ending up in hospital.”
Zeitung also notes that the biggest reason we don’t yet have enough vaccines to go around is the volume of the dose. He notes that the production of booster shots will be much more speedy, as they are just half of the original dose. That means that Moderna will have 3 billion doses of the booster shot to offer the world, instead of just 2 billion, in the coming year.
Other Officials Estimate Spring 2022
Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House Chief Medical Advisor, told CNN that we may be able to reach a “degree of normality” by spring 2022. While that may not mean the pandemic is completely over, it does mean a lot more freedom for most.
Fauci cited the FDA granting full approval to Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine as the reason for his prediction. With full approval, we will likely see an increase in immunizations as more and more people feel confident in the vaccine. It may also influence more schools and employers to require vaccinations from students and employees.
Ultimately, the end of the pandemic is inevitable. Though the timing may differ, it appears that at some point next year, we will resume normalcy and security in public health. For that to happen, people will either need to get vaccinated or get natural immunization by getting Covid-19 themselves.