Over next year, some regions will transition to endemic, while others will continue in pandemic, one executive says
COVID-19 is expected to become an endemic disease as early as 2024, according to US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer executives on Friday.
“We believe COVID-19 will transition to an endemic state, potentially by 2024,” Global President of Pfizer Vaccines Nanette Cocero said during the company’s Analyst and Investor Call.
It could reach the endemic level when populations around the world would have enough immunity from vaccines, or hospitalizations and deaths are taken under control, she added.
Pfizer Chief Scientific Officer Mikael Dolsten said the duration will depend on the evolution of the disease,and how effectively vaccines are deployed around the world where vaccination rates are low.
“It seems like over the next year or two, some regions will transition to an endemic model while other regions will continue in pandemic mode,” he said.
“The emergence of new variants could also impact how the pandemic continues to play out,” he added.
While a pandemic, like COVID-19, is a global epidemic that has spread over all countries in the world, an endemic affects a particular populations or countries.
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed over 5.34 million lives in at least 192 countries and regions since December 2019, with more than 273 million cases reported worldwide, according to the US’ Johns Hopkins University.