San Diego County

Public Health Officials Say COVID-19 Is Likely Here to Stay, Herd Immunity Unattainable

The battle against COVID-19 shifts from crushing the virus, to living with the virus

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When the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine came onto the market, the goal was to run up vaccinations to reach herd immunity, which would’ve essentially ended the pandemic.

“I honestly think the delta variant sort of changed everything because it's just so much more infectious, looks like it's a little more severe and it's really slightly evaded our vaccines, and we just haven't been able to sort of beat the virus, and I think part of that is because of the resistance to being vaccinated,” Infectious Disease Dr. Christian Ramers said.

Many public health officials and doctors believe the COVID-19 pandemic will turn into an endemic like other coronaviruses.

“It looks like this might actually be a virus that becomes endemic, and what that means is that it never really goes away,” Dr. Ramers said.

Infectious disease doctors are advocating for COVID-19 safety protocols to be adhered to when necessary.

Those protocols include wearing a mask when in crowded areas or social distancing when necessary including when there’s a spike in COVID-19 cases, which is predicted to occur this winter.

Along with following safety protocols when necessary, infectious disease doctors still advocate for vaccinations because it is the best tool to keep people safe.

“The benefits of the vaccination are not a 100% foolproof way to prevent you from ever getting infected, but it's the, it's the damn well best way that you can prevent a severe disease and make it through with really not much of a chance of being in the hospital,” Dr. Ramers said.

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