COVID-19 likely to remain, vaccines will enable normality: expert

If the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus stays with us, and it probably will, the vaccinations will prevent it from causing the type of problems we experience today, so the vaccines will allow us to return to normality, Piotr Rzymski, an expert in the field of medical biology and scientific research at the Medial University of Poznań, western Poland, told the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

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“While discussing the anti-COVID-19 vaccinations, it is worth stating what we are fighting for. Our target is not the full eradication – elimination of COVID-19 – because it might be impossible. SARS-CoV-2 most likely will stay with us. But the vaccines are the way not only to decrease the number of sick, but also to soften the clinical symptoms in case of infection,” Mr Rzymski said.

“We strive to prevent a serious condition from developing, for fewer hospitalisations and to lower the fatality rate. In this context the vaccines allowed in the EU are good and people have to be vaccinated,” he added.

For now, only people over 16 years old can be vaccinated. “Perhaps the Pfizer vaccine will be allowed for those older than twelve, as clinical trials are ongoing,” Mr Rzymski said.

“But even if we vaccinate the majority of humanity over 12 or 16 years old, the coronavirus will still remain, especially among the youngest, who usually show few symptoms or even none at all. On the other hand, studies have shown that children can spread the virus longer than adults,” the expert emphasised.

“It is possible that in the future, people will go through SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection mostly in their childhood,” he added.

Mr Rzymski stressed that the vaccines are aimed at enabling a return to normality first. “They are to firstly unblock the healthcare system, which has to fulfil its functions. Not only help those who suffer from COVID-19, but all those who require help. We have to restore the education system, the economy. And – thanks to the vaccinations – this is a very real [possibility],” he said.