The fight for pandemic has come down to a few simple rounds now. The most prominent being the hurdle race between mass vaccinations and virus mutations. We need to get the maximum vaccinated before the virus mutates itself. This is why every nation is in urgent of vaccines that need to be procured in large numbers and administered at a similar rate.
As per the recent interview given by China's top respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan to China state-affiliated media, CGTN, China, too, like many other nations is in urgent need to vaccinate.
Will it all be over soon?
Before any hopes can be pinned and expectations raised, he opines the pandemic is far from over.
"Covid-19 pandemic is far from reaching the end because there is a big gap. On the one hand side there is strict containment, on the other hand we are trying to reach herd community," he said addressing the question as to how concerned should the world be?
"We need to be very much aware of rebound of some countries. Some countries re-opened their societies, economy too early. Before the herd immunity is reached, a strict community and masking, isolation, tracing contacts, sanitising and social distancing are all very important." Few of the ground rules that experts have stressed upon enough from day one.
How far can vaccinations help?
The efficacy of vaccines has been a question on many minds. How can vaccinations help prevent further outbreaks of Covid-19? "If the protective rate of vaccine is about 70 per cent, so least 80 per cent of the population should receive vaccination. If the protective rate is 80 per cent, then at least 70 per cent of the population should receive vaccination. That's one point."
"The second point is the earlier the massive vaccine given, the less the mutations. That's why we in China are really in urgent need to receive massive vaccination as soon as possible," said the Nanshan before revealing that he himself got a China-made vaccine. "It's based on recent data so there are several hundred thousand people who have received these vaccines."
The gap between doses and efficacy
With each nation and every vaccine maker recommending different gaps between two doses, how does the gap between doses and efficacy relate with each other? Does the time frame between Covid-19 shots have an impact on the immunity, before it was 14 days, 28 days and now it is extended to 8 weeks?
He adds, "I don't think there is a very strict comparison in between the interval. Right now for the home made vaccine, taking the second dose should be no longer than eight weeks. That's our recommendation. We cannot simply say, the longer interval the better immunity one has."
Co-existing with Covid-19 will become the norm?
While everyone has reluctantly made peace with the reality of the new normal, but will Covid-19 be a part of new life? He opines, "If the impact of health by Covid-19 is going to be less over time, the long time coexistence of human with Covid-19 is possible. If the protective rate of vaccine is no longer than one year, then vaccine should be given every year. We only can go and see what happens, but co-existence with Covid-19 maybe possible."