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Verify: Yes, the coronavirus pandemic will eventually become an endemic

When that happens depends on the number vaccinated.

SAN ANTONIO — We've been in the pandemic for nearly two years. In tonight's Verify we take a look at when it might be less disruptive, allowing us to move to a new normal.

THE QUESTION

Will the pandemic as we know it now will eventually transition to an endemic, much like how the flu surfaces every year, as time goes on?

THE SOURCES

  • Dr. Junda Woo, the Medical Director of San Antonio's Metro Health
  • Dr. Tony Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States.

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Here's what Dr. Woo had to say. She told us, "Every new infection gives the virus a new chance to mutate. And so we might have no new waves or we might have smaller waves, we would expect them to be smaller. But it really all depends on whether we have other surprise variants. We may not have big disruptive waves like we've had. We likely won't." 

In a recent interview with NPR Dr. Fauci said. "If you look at the history of infectious diseases, we've only eradicated one infectious disease in man, and that's smallpox. That's not going to happen with this virus. I think that's what most people feel when they talk about in endemicity, where it is integrated into the broad range of infectious diseases that we experience."

So the answer is yes, the pandemic as we know it will eventually transition to an endemic. But the more people who get vaccinated, the faster that change will occur. 

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