In this new edition of the conversations of Mirada Educativa, a panel of experts explained what is expected for next year in terms of the evolution of the Coronavirus pandemic: the emergence of new variants, the vaccination process, the return to face-to-face classes and the new customs that will be part of a new reality configured to contain the advance of the disease.

During this month it is two years since the detection of the first cases of Covid-19 in the city of Wuhan, China. The then unknown disease spread rapidly around the world., thus beginning the pandemic that to this day continues to affect all countries, including Chile. The Coronavirus has infected more than 269 million people in the world, causing the death of more than 5 million of them.

But despite the impact the virus has had on the world, Chile's mass vaccination process this year has placed our country at the international forefront in terms of disease control. In both, the emergence of new variants such as Omicron and the slowness of this process at the international level, make believe that the control of Covid-19 will continue to be an issue next year.

That is why La Tercera together with UNAB held the Conversation "Covid in 2022: Defining the new normal".

The event was attended by José Miguel Bernucci, Secretary General of Colmed, Naldy Febré, PhD in Health Sciences and Research Coordinator of the Faculty of Nursing of Universidad Andrés Bello and Catterina Ferreccio, epidemiologist of the UC and part of the Covid-19 Advisory Council of the Minsal.

On the future of disease treatment, Dr. Ferreccio pointed out that although it is very likely that new variants will continue to appear due to the proper functioning of viruses, is optimistic about the possibility of finding faster solutions to new variants. "Never has humanity known so much about a common enemy., but as soon as new variants appear, laboratories can already understand how they work and design new vaccines.".

On the return to "normality", Naldy Febré points out that face-to-face classes, for example, should already return on a regular basis during this 2022. "The decision is due to the large number of people who are already on a vaccination schedule and also because very few outbreaks have been generated in schools.. But you have to keep following Omicron and other variants to make the best decisions", designates. Anyway, we must continue to take self-care measures such as the use of the mask, hand washing and social distancing as the norm on a day-to-day basis.

Regarding the vaccination process, Dr. Bernucci highlighted the order and speed with which it has been carried out, which places us within the countries where it has advanced the most. "The data we have today allows us to affirm that vaccines are effective in preventing hospitalizations and that they are as safe as the other vaccines that are part of our national plan.". In spite of that, calls for further progress, since 25% of the population has not yet gone to vaccinate. And it's not a matter of distrust., explains, as only 1% declare themselves anti-vaccine. "Many have not done so today due to lack of access and the strict initial vaccination schedule".

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