December 9, 2023

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Experts say global eradication of Covid-19 'maybe possible'

Experts say global eradication of Covid-19 ‘maybe possible’

A new study reveals that global eradication of the Covid-19 virus is “likely possible” thanks to vaccination, public health measures and global interest in controlling the epidemic.

For the signatories to the study published in the BMJ Global Health, health policies and global concern resulting from the financial and social crises make eradication of the virus possible, but according to specialists from the University of Otago Wellington (New Zealand), the most important goals are to ensure greater vaccination coverage, able to Respond quickly to variables.

The authors of the study, which includes comparative data from technology, say the social, political and economic factors of Covid-19, polio infection and smallpox.

The researchers used a three-point scoring system for each of the 17 variables, including availability of a safe and effective vaccine, lifelong immunity, impact of public health measures, and effective government administration to control infection.

Political and public interest in the economic and social ramifications or acceptance of restrictive measures were also accounted for.

The average score in the study was 2.7 for smallpox, 1.6 for covid-19, and 1.5 for polio.

Smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980 and two of the three serotypes of poliovirus have been eliminated globally.

Experts recognize that with regard to smallpox and polio, the technical challenges to eradicating Covid-19 include reduced vaccine acceptance and the emergence of more transmissible variants.

However, viral evolution has its limitations. They argue that the virus is eventually expected to reach its maximum potential and that new vaccines will be designed.”

The researchers added that persistence of the virus in animal reservoirs could also thwart efforts, but it does not appear to be a serious problem.

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On the other hand, the “unprecedented global interest in disease control and massive investment in pandemic vaccination” was highlighted.

Unlike smallpox and polio, Covid-19 is benefiting from the additional impact of public health measures such as border control, social distancing and mask-wearing, which “could be very effective if [forem] Well planted.”

The elimination and sustainability of Covid-19 has been achieved over long periods in many Asian regions, “which shows that […] that global eradication is technically feasible,” they summarize.

Among the future challenges, the study identifies achieving international cooperation to combat “vaccine nationalism”.