Every person will likely have COVID infection more than once in their lifetime, says scientists.
According to Professor Francois Balloux of the University College London (UCL), although vaccines are effective against severe disease, hospitalization, and death, they are “meh” when it comes to preventing infectious diseases from spreading.
He said that most people would get coronavirus soon and again.
But after making the remarks on Twitter, the professor was slammed for having “no empathy”.
Prof Balloux wrote: “This is not an easy message to convey, even to those who have already accepted that zero-covid was toast.
“Essentially everyone will eventually get infected by SARS-CoV-2 in the near future, and likely more than once in their lifetime.”
He maintained that measures such as wearing masks will prolong the pandemic by postponing some people from becoming infected.
Prof Balloux added: “Vaccine protection against infection is meh, though protection against severe symptoms, hospitalisation and death remains stellar (~20x), including against Omicron.”
According to him, the virus would become endemic, and he went on to say, “I believe it is time to give in soon.”
“Vaccine protection rates are as high as they may ever be in many places, and now we’ve got a couple of decent drugs.
“Pretending we remain in control, of sorts, is just becoming too costly.”
Professor Balloux’s statements were criticized by Dr. Simon Ashworth, head of specialist and consultant intensive care medicine at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
He replied: “If you lie down on the tracks and wait the train to run you over, then it will run you over. So get up.
“Balloux has been consistently wrong about the pandemic… he sounds plausible but seems to have zero real understanding and no empathy.”
Prof Balloux then clarified that he was not advocating for the lifting of limitations at this time, but rather that we continue to reduce COVID case numbers over the following months through proactive and reactive measures to enable a seamless transition into the endemic.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the country’s senior scientific adviser, stated earlier this month that the country was experiencing a “bumpy transition” from the coronavirus pandemic to the virus becoming endemic when the Omicron form was discovered.
He said: “What we are on is a road from pandemic to endemic, where this becomes a more regular infection like flu or something over time.”
Former member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling group (Spi-M), which reports to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), Professor Mike Tildesley, previously stated that repeated vaccinations might be administered “for years to come” in order to keep COVID-19 at bay.
He told Sky News: “In the longer term, COVID is likely to become endemic and we probably are going to have to manage it with repeated vaccination campaigns for years to come.”
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