Even with the prospect of vaccination against coronavirus starting this year, it is still possible that the world population will again suffer from Covid-19 outbreaks in the coming years. What will determine this, says biologist Atila Iamarino, is the immune response that individuals show after receiving the vaccine or curing the disease.
The ideal, according to Iamarino, is to have 70% to 80% of protected people – cured or vaccinated – in order to reach a level of normality in relation to the virus. And that should take about a year, taking into account the timing of the vaccine’s distribution and the time for people to develop the immune response. In the meantime, the ideal is to control the virus with human action, that is, extensive testing and maintenance of social distance.
The biologist participated in Ao Vivo Em Casa, a series of lives by leaf who, this Wednesday (23), discussed the prospects for the next months of this year and for 2021. The interview was conducted by journalist Emilio Sant’Anna.
Iamarino holds a PhD in science from USP and did research at Yale University. He is a scientific promoter on YouTube on his personal channel and on Nerdologia and a columnist for leaf.
There are, according to Iamarino, several possibilities of scenarios on the development of immunity of the population. In the worst case scenario, reinfections can occur with as many complications as in the first contamination. This happens, for example, with other types of coronavirus, against which immunity may decrease over time. On the opposite side, there is the scenario in which immunization, by vaccine or cure, is permanent.
“Most scenarios predict the virus for longer. That’s why we can have annual or biannual outbreaks, especially in winter,” he says.
He cited the case of Manaus, where up to 66% of the population would have been infected with Sars-CoV-2, developing the so-called herd immunity. “If the virus circulates again in a region as affected as Manaus was, it is because the virus can return more often.”
The biggest problem with developing herd immunity, he says, is human cost. In the Amazon capital, more than 130,000 people were infected and nearly 4,000 lost their lives during the explosion of cases and over the past six months.
“The point of saying that the virus will stay for two years or more is not to say that life is over, it is to say that, to resume life, we will have to wear a mask, keep our distance at some times of the year, close some things in worst case scenarios and do constant testing. “