It was our hope, given what we were initially told by the COVID-19 vaccine developers Pfizer and Moderna and the CDC, NIH, and NIAID, that the vaccines and the elevated vaccine rates would end the COVID emergency. While not expressing support for the vaccines in this op-ed, given the existence of alternative public health measures and the early outpatient treatment that should have been applied instead of vaccines, I will say that if sterilizing, neutralizing antibody vaccines really had been developed in the first place, then this op-ed would not have been written.
Why? Because it is clear now that the vaccines have largely failed against the Delta variant and “boosting” when the Delta variant, and not the initial Wuhan strain, is dominant will be pointless. The vaccine is missing the Delta variant, and there is clear immune escape, whereby vaccinated persons are becoming infected in large numbers, with immunity that declines rapidly, giving only a few months of protection. Basic immunology teaches us that you can end the pandemic only if you cut the chain of transmission, and you do this with population-level herd immunity.