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Living with COVID-19: The road ahead
Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore ; 50(8):619-628, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1391356
ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION:

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the world for more than a year, with multiple waves of infections resulting in morbidity, mortality and disruption to the economy and society. Response measures employed to control it have generally been effective but are unlikely to be sustainable over the long term.

METHODS:

We examined the evidence for a vaccine-driven COVID-19 exit strategy including academic papers, governmental reports and epidemiological data, and discuss the shift from the current pandemic footing to an endemic approach similar to influenza and other respiratory infectious diseases.

RESULTS:

A desired endemic state is characterised by a baseline prevalence of infections with a generally mild disease profile that can be sustainably managed by the healthcare system, together with the resumption of near normalcy in human activities. Such an endemic state is attainable for COVID-19 given the promising data around vaccine efficacy, although uncertainty remains around vaccine immunity escape in emergent variants of concern. Maintenance of non-pharmaceutical interventions remains crucial until high vaccination coverage is attained to avoid runaway outbreaks. It may also be worthwhile to de-escalate measures in phases, before standing down most measures for an endemic state. If a variant that substantially evades immunity emerges, it will need to be managed akin to a new disease threat, with pandemic preparedness and response plans.

CONCLUSION:

An endemic state for COVID-19, characterised by sustainable disease control measures, is likely attainable through vaccination.
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Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: MEDLINE Language: English Journal: Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore Year: 2021 Document Type: Article

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Collection: Databases of international organizations Database: MEDLINE Language: English Journal: Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore Year: 2021 Document Type: Article