Pandemic forecasts for Covid-19 in 2022 impossible, due to unpredictability of variants


According to Lise Jamieson, a Wits University researcher who is part of the South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium, the unpredictability of variants makes forecasts for 2022 impossible.

“Because it is difficult to predict viral evolution, we are unable to predict the trajectory for 2022,” said Jamieson. Variables such as previous infection, vaccine access and rollout, and how governments and citizens respond, differ wildly across countries.

Meanwhile, researchers led by Sarun Charumilind said that three levers are likely to be especially important in the containing of Covid-19:

  1. The extent to which countries can effectively scale and make available new oral therapeutics. (The US Food and Drug Administration has approved pills from Pfizer and Merck.)
  2. Booster shots. According to Charumilind evidence is accumulating that booster doses are especially important for protecting against the Omicron variant; and
  3. “Public fatigue and the lessons of the past two years” make “finding the right combination of public health measures critical”.

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