Covid-19: scientists’ best and worst scenarios until 2027

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Is the pandemic finally behind us, or should we still expect the worst? Crisis exit scenarios seem to be emerging, but the Covid-19 is not beaten. The arrival of new, more contagious and more virulent variants could again tip the health situation. The International Science Council has also recently published a report on the future of the pandemic, which Numerama echoes. The scientists behind this study, specializing in public health or virology, have drawn up three plausible paths until 2027: a pessimistic forecast, a mixed one and an optimistic one. Here they are in detail.

“Missed Recovery”, is the most pessimistic forecast. According to scientists, political tensions could be right for the proper management of the health crisis. They thus imagine that those refractory to political ideologies could refuse anti-Covid vaccination. Less than 60% of the world’s population would then be effectively vaccinated against the virus during the next 5 years.

At the same time, new variants would continue to appear. The circulation of the Covid-19 would then be very dense.

According to the WHO, “striving to vaccinate 70% of the population of each country remains essential to control the pandemic, with priority given to health workers, the elderly and other groups at risk”. According to Maria Van Kerkhove, epidemiologist within the organization, at present “the virus still has a lot of energy”.

What is the second track they predict?

The second track, more subdued, was named “Continuity”. Here, the authors of the report do not envisage any improvement or deterioration in the global management of the health crisis.

They rely on the delay. In the situation where low-income countries have the lowest vaccination rates, in the event of an epidemic rebound, restrictive measures could be taken. The virus would then become endemic and vaccines would have to be regularly updated in order to effectively combat the different variants.

What about the best scenario?

The best scenario is named “Collaboration Plus”. Here, the Covid-19 would weaken in particular thanks to the high vaccination coverage of the population. According to scientists, more than 70% of people worldwide will have received at least one dose of an effective vaccine by 2027. This would allow high protection against Covid on an international scale.

Potential confinements and other restrictions can then be avoided. For this, the monitoring of epidemiological data is necessary, estimates the WHO.