The coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, and one expert suggests new variants and surges will continue until we vaccinate the entire world.

Dr. Vidya Mony, the pediatric infectious diseases specialist at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California, told Healthline this week that it’s hard to predict what will happen next, but the pandemic may be around longer than we think.

  • “I think at this point, it’s hard to predict anything,” Mony said.
  • “By definition, this is an infectious disease that is spread worldwide,” Mony said. “Unless we are able to vaccinate the entire world, it is quite possible that we will continue to have variants and continue to have transmission.”
This very feared COVID-19 variant has been eradicated from the U.S., data says

And, Mony said, the U.S. might have ended its COVID-19 restrictions too soon.

  • “Though we knew about the delta variant and its deleterious effects from India, the U.S. started opening up in June,” she said.

Experts have been speaking about when the pandemic will end. Moderna Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel recently told Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung that increased vaccine production will help vaccinate the rest of the world, which could mean the pandemic will end in 2022.

  • “If you look at the industry-wide expansion of production capacities over the past six months, enough doses should be available by the middle of next year so that everyone on this earth can be vaccinated. Boosters should also be possible to the extent required,” he told the Neue Zuercher Zeitung newspaper.

For the United States, the pandemic might slow down when the delta wave dies out around Thanksgiving, said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.

90% of the U.S. will have immunity to COVID-19 by Thanksgiving, expert says

Gottlieb said the U.S. will see 90% immunity by Thanksgiving between those who are vaccinated and those who have natural immunity, per CNBC.

  • “I’m optimistic that we’re peaking in COVID for the grim truth that the delta wave is so pervasive and infecting so many people that on the back end of this we’re going to have immunity in, at least, 85%, maybe 90% of the population,” Gottlieb said, per CNBC. “Some will have acquired that immunity through vaccination. Some will have acquired that immunity through infection. Some will have been both vaccinated and infected.”