Although the disease is still in the pandemic, the prevalence of the omicron variant could turn COVID-19 into a native disease that could help humans learn to live, a European regulator said on Tuesday.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has also expressed skepticism about providing a fourth vaccine to the population, stating that injecting repeated doses is not a “sustainable” strategy.
“No one knows when we will be at the end of the tunnel, but we will get there,” said Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccine strategy at the Amsterdam-based EMA.
“With the increase in immunity in the population – and there will be a very natural immunity along with the vaccine with Omicron – we will quickly move towards a scenario that is closer to localization,” M Cavaleri told a news conference.
But he stressed, “We must not forget that we are still in the epidemic.”
The European Department of the World Health Organization has also stated that it is currently impossible to detect a virus such as influenza locally.
“We still have the virus, which develops very quickly and poses new challenges.
According to the WHO Europe, in the current “tidal wave” half of Europeans will be affected by the Omicron variant in two months.
Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with booster doses of current vaccines is not a viable strategy, the EMA shared this view.
“If we had a strategy of giving boosters every four months, we would have immune response problems,” Cavaleri said.
“And secondly, there is a risk of population fatigue with continued administration of booster doses,” he added.
Instead, he said, countries should start thinking about eliminating boosters over a longer period of time and delivering things like the flu shot early in the winter.
Although Omicron appears to be more contagious than other variants, studies have shown a lower risk of hospitalization after infection with this variant – according to the EMA, the risk with the Delta variant is estimated to be between one-third and one-half.