Mixed messages on if COVID is still a pandemic, or now an endemic
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- During the 2022 State of the Union Address, President Joe Biden said that "COVID-19 no longer need control our lives” and the Associated Press reported that he would end the COVID emergency on May 11.
However, local experts say that COVID might not be over yet.
Dr. Bill Petri is the Vice Chair for Research at the University of Virginia Medical Center and an expert on infectious disease.
He says that although there have been reports of COVID becoming more of an endemic instead of a pandemic, it is still dangerous. According to Petri, the virus is still considered a pandemic because there are about 45,000 new cases reported per day.
"It's not going away, unfortunately," he said. "And as we all know, there's about 500 deaths a day. So, it truly is still a pandemic, unfortunately, but I agree that it doesn't have to control our lives anymore, just because of all the scientific medical advances.”
He also says that although Virginia is one of the states leading the nation in the number of COVID cases, it also has one of the highest rates of vaccinations.
"You know, Virginia is doing great with vaccinations. So, we're right up there with the best of the country, as far as percent of our population that's been vaccinated. We're approaching 90 percent of five year old and up that have had the vaccine and the booster, which is wonderful,” Petri said.
According to Petri, there will be a policy in the near future, where people can get their flu booster at the same time they get their COVID booster.
He says that just as the flu vaccinations change every year, so will COVID vaccinations. This will be an annual shot every fall when the policy is in place.