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When will the pandemic end? And will you need a booster shot? Where we'll be in 2022

Michelle Marchante and Howard Cohen, The Miami Herald on

Published in News & Features

Goodbye to temperature checks and screenings at the hospital entrance. That’s Dr. Segarra’s optimistic view of life inside any one of the Baptist Health South Florida’s 11 hospitals and 100-plus outpatient facilities and physician practices.

Segarra envisions that we’ll have had our booster shots by 2022 and that Baptist’s admitted patients who have COVID-19 in May 2022 are half the number admitted in May 2021. Figure on 20 to 30 patients in May 2022, rather than the 70 in mid-May 2021, Segarra predicts.

By May 2022, you should be able to stroll into a hospital and engage with a worker at the check-in desk not unlike the way you did in 2019. Most likely you are doing it mask-free, too, unless you’re more comfortable with the protection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will still have sway with advisement on the use of masks, social distancing and other now-familiar actions, should the need arise.

“We cannot predict the future,” said Lidia Amoretti-Morgado, Jackson Health System’s media relations manager. “Jackson Health System will adhere to any new guidelines provided by the CDC, as well as the state and local government.”

But Jackson, which took a leading role in vaccinating the public, starting with seniors in December 2020 and children 12 and up in May, will not be a vaccination site. Those lines outside the front doors? That’s so January 2021.

“At this moment, we do not foresee Jackson reopening its community vaccination program in the future,” Amoretti-Morgado said.

When will the global pandemic be over?

Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr. is the assistant director of Pan American Health Organization, which serves as the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for the Americas.

 

When the Miami Herald asked what vaccine and cases criteria WHO would use to decide if the global pandemic is over, Barbosa said there’s still a lot of uncertainties about the future. While he’s hopeful that COVID-19 will be controlled in the world by next year, he said it will depend on whether every country has equitable access to vaccines.

“We don’t know yet what the immunization coverage level” will be “that we need to control the transmission,” Barbosa said. “But some estimations said that you need at least 70 or 80%. To reach this level is the main objective we have now.”

Barbosa said that the whole world must make that kind of commitment in the next year to at least get transmission under control. That’s the only way people can resume “regular life again,” he added.

A lasting lesson from COVID-19

Now that we have lived during a pandemic, optimists may see that the COVID-19 crisis has provided some teachable moments.

That’s one message FIU Health Care Network’s CEO Dr. Roldan offers.

“Aside from the attention to health and adapting to ways to keep us healthy, the pandemic has changed the landscape in many aspects of our lives — personal, lifestyle, professional, work access, productivity. ... Do not look back. Learn from the past to improve the present, adapt to changes and innovate for the future.”

(c)2021 Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.