After two gruelling years of dealing with COVID-19 and its social, political and economic fallouts, 2022 may be the year that the tide turns. As drugs are developed to manage the virus more effectively, and the new variant seems to show a decline in serious symptoms, the world may finally be able to move into that “new normal” we have all been talking about. Glenmed Professional Healthcare Solutions looks at five key predictions on the future of the pandemic during 2022.
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5 Key Developments In The COVID-19 Pandemic In 2022
There is a still a great deal of debate and confusion about the direction the COVID-19 pandemic will take at any given time. Yet, as the dust settles after each new development, experts usually end up reaching some sort of consensus about the path the pandemic will follow. The follow five predictions seem to be fairly well supported among those in the know.
1. From Pandemic To Endemic
Chief among the COVID predictions for 2022 is the idea that the virus will shift from its pandemic status and become endemic, much like any other widespread disease such as the flu. This means that, instead of living in a constant state of emergency, the world will start carrying on with life while devising routine methods to prevent and manage infection. This doesn’t mean that we can let our guard down completely, but it does indicate that we can take very different steps to protect ourselves.
2. Drugs Will Take Precedence Over Social Distancing
Vaccines and effective antivirals are quickly becoming available to large swathes of the world’s population. While these measure are not perfect, they have been proven to offer powerful protection against infection – or at least against the worst consequences of infection. As a result, lockdowns are likely to become a thing of the past, and there will less of an emphasis on social distancing. The exception will be for those people who are infected, who will be advised to mask up and/or stay at home. Seasonal spikes in infections may also lead to temporary enforcement of social distancing measures.
3. Affordable And Accessible COVID Tests
Since travel and event arrangements will depend heavily on COVID testing, it is vital that people have access to fast and affordable tests. The U.S. government has announced a plan to require insurance companies to cover the cost of rapid, at-home tests. The rest of the world may follow suit. At the same time, new, improved tests that easier to use and that provide faster results, are likely to develop.
4. Annual Boosters Will Become A Reality
Just like the annual flu shot, people will probably need to get an annual COVID-19 vaccine booster to maintain their defences against the disease. There is no knowing how the virus will mutate after the omicron variant. Each new booster can be designed to fight the current dominant variant of the virus.
5. Vaccines May Become Available To More Children
Vaccines have gradually been rolled out to younger and younger portions of the population. Even though infants and children under the age of 5 are deemed to be a low risk in regard to COVID, parents still want to ensure that their little ones have adequate protection. Scientists are currently working on determining the safety of vaccines for this age group, and big pharma is currently presenting its case for government authorization in territories around the world.
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