Will COVID-19 Ever Be Eradicated or Eliminated?

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Playing Will COVID-19 Ever Be Over?

The Doctors discuss if COVID-19 will ever be completely eliminated or if it will be something we manage with epidemiologist Dr. F. Perry Wilson.

Dr. Wilson explains there is a difference between eradication and elimination, noting eradication would mean the virus no longer exists in its natural state anywhere in the world, which would be difficult to achieve. He says this has only been accomplished once in history and that was with smallpox. COVID-19 can live in animals as well, making eradication much harder.

Elimination would mean aiming to have no cases in humans, but with an understanding, there may be outbreaks due to the possibility of transmission between animals and humans. He compares it to house fires, which happen from time to time, but they are dealt with before the fire spreads to the entire neighborhood.

The epidemiologist notes herd immunity will occur when 70 to 75 percent of the population either get vaccinated or become infected and survive. As for how long COVID antibodies last, Dr. Wilson says this is still being studied, but he notes the rates of COVID reinfections have been very low and calls this "very encouraging."

The epidemiologist tells The Doctors the fatality rate for people infected by COVID is decreasing as well, as we gain a better understanding of how to treat and manage the virus.

The Doctors stress the best defense against COVID-19 is to get vaccinated -- and if you still need to get your shot (which is free and available to anyone regardless of whether or not you have insurance) find out where to get your vaccine at Vaccines.gov.

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