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WHO chief scientist on Covid: ‘There is still a chance we could head back in a bad direction’


Dr. Farrar believes that the world is sadly not prepared for a possible next wave of infections.

The world is not yet out of the woods when it comes to overcoming the covid pandemic, according to the chief scientist of the World Health Organization. EXCELLENT!

Renowned British scientist Dr. Jeremy Farrar, who has been heavily criticized for his efforts to downplay the Covid lab leak theory and his dire warnings early in the pandemic, said there is a “small chance that we could come back in bad weather.” address” if the virus enjoys another major set of mutations.

He said it was concerning that the world had yet to develop a vaccine that prevents infections or truly robust antiviral therapies that offer broad protection against multiple strains.

Dr. Farrar delivered his grim warning with warnings that, at this point, most, if not all, people have developed some degree of immunity against the virus through recovery from natural infection, vaccination, or both. .

Vaccines, while not stellar at preventing covid transmission and infection, are highly effective at preventing the worst possible outcomes, including hospitalization and deaths.

Vaccines, while not stellar at preventing covid transmission and infection, are highly effective at preventing the worst possible outcomes, including hospitalization and deaths.

doctor farrar saying: ‘The most likely scenario is the one the world finds itself in now: that with a combination of vaccination and natural immunity against infection, new variants are largely limited. My concern has always been that there are other scenarios.

“There is a small chance that we could go back in a bad direction and I think it’s very important that the scientific community and the public health community not ignore that small percentage chance, because it would be unthinkable in 2026, 2027, 2028 to go back to March. of 2020. I think it is unlikely, but we must be prepared.

The most frequently administered Covid vaccines in the US were developed and approved by federal regulators at lightning speed.

Virologists administered injections that were highly effective in preventing serious illness leading to hospitalization and/or death in about nine months, a process that typically takes up to a decade.

Estimates suggest that the vaccines prevented more than 18 million additional hospitalizations and more than 3 million additional deaths due to Covid, but the vaccines were much less effective in preventing infections in the first place.

Globally, vaccines are believed to have saved a staggering 20 million lives, according to a 2022 study published in the journal. Lancet Infectious Diseases.

The first iterations of the Covid vaccines, designed to fight the original or ‘wild-type’ strain, were somewhat good at preventing transmission, but as the virus has mutated into new, unique and more transmissible variants, the injections lost part of its effectiveness. something that became abundantly clear when the delta variant sent the US into a tailspin.

Covid vaccines, delivered to the public at breakneck speed, are believed to have prevented more than 19.8 million deaths worldwide.

Covid vaccines, delivered to the public at breakneck speed, are believed to have prevented more than 19.8 million deaths worldwide.

Dr Farrar said: ‘We are not where we need to be. We do not have vaccines that block transmission. Frankly, we still don’t have good enough therapies. We don’t have enough antiviral drugs, not just for COVID, but more broadly than that.’

The next public health crisis may not be the result of another Covid variant like XBB.1.5, a derivative of the omicron variant that the WHO has called the most transmissible yet.

There are many other circulating pathogens that warrant surveillance, Dr. Farrar said, including H5N1, also known as avian influenza.

Bird flu has wreaked havoc on bird and mammalian species, and while the bird flu virus does not typically infect humans, it is not unheard of. It has been circulating in the UK since 2021 and it appears that it is only missing a few mutations to make it easier to infect people.

doctor farrar said The Guardian in February that while the spread of H5N1 from person to person at epidemic or even worse pandemic levels is highly unlikely, allowing the virus to continue to mutate and spread between animals only strengthens the pathogen.

He said: ‘If we allow an avian virus to which none of us have immunity to continue circulating in birds and then more and more, whether they are mink or seals, reach the mammalian sector and therefore begin to adapt , there is a risk. there.’

Dr. Farrar’s position as WHO chief scientist is relatively new. He is only the second person to be named chief scientist after Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, an Indian pediatrician, was appointed to the new role in March 2019.

He has had a long career as a clinical scientist and ran Europe’s largest medical research charity, the Wellcome Trust, for a decade.

A high-profile expert who was also a senior member of the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), which advises the UK government on scientific and technical matters, Dr Farrar was the subject of widespread criticism after it was revealed there was a hand in quashing arguments that the coronavirus was taken from a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

A series of internal emails between Dr. Farrar, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and former head of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, revealed that Farrar made direct edits to a scientific paper written in February 2020 specifically to squash the theory that the covid could have escaped from Wuhan. Institute of Virology.

Dr. Farrar pushed through a crucial change that cast even more doubt on the theory: requesting that the word “unlikely” be changed to “unlikely” in a statement about the lab leak.

This caused the final sentence to read: “SARS CoV-2 is unlikely to have arisen through laboratory manipulation of an existing SARS-related coronavirus.”

The emails, made public by Republican members of the US Congress, prompted calls from members of the scientific community to revoke his appointment in December, prompting him to take office in February.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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