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Title: A look into the future of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe : an expert consultation
Authors: Iftekhar, Emil Nafis
Priesemann, Viola
Balling, Rudi
Bauer, Simon
Beutels, Philippe
Valdez, André Calero
Cuschieri, Sarah
Czypionka, Thomas
Dumpis, Uga
Glaab, Enrico
Grill, Eva
Hanson, Claudia
Hotulainen, Pirta
Klimek, Peter
Kretzschmar, Mirjam
Krüger, Tyll
Krutzinna, Jenny
Low, Nicola
Machado, Helena
Martins, Carlos
McKee, Martin
Mohr, Sebastian Bernd
Nassehi, Armin
Perc, Matjaž
Petelos, Elena
Pickersgill, Martyn
Prainsack, Barbara
Rocklöv, Joacim
Schernhammer, Eva
Staines, Anthony
Szczurek, Ewa
Tsiodras, Sotirios
Gucht, Steven Van
Willeit, Peter
Keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020- -- Europe
COVID-19 (Disease) -- Europe
Coronavirus infections -- Europe
COVID-19 (Disease) -- Vaccination -- Europe
COVID-19 (Disease) -- Risk factors -- Europe
Social distancing (Public health) and education -- Europe
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Iftekhar, E. N., Priesemann, V., Balling, R., Bauer, S., Beutels, P., Valdez, A. C.,...Willeit, P. (2021). A look into the future of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe: an expert consultation. The Lancet Regional Health-Europe, 100185.
Abstract: How will the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic develop in the coming months and years? Based on an expert survey, we examine key aspects that are likely to influence the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. The challenges and developments will strongly depend on the progress of national and global vaccination programs, the emergence and spread of variants of concern (VOCs), and public responses to non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). In the short term, many people remain unvaccinated, VOCs continue to emerge and spread, and mobility and population mixing are expected to increase. Therefore, lifting restrictions too much and too early risk another damaging wave. This challenge remains despite the reduced opportunities for transmission given vaccination progress and reduced indoor mixing in summer 2021. In autumn 2021, increased indoor activity might accelerate the spread again, whilst a necessary reintroduction of NPIs might be too slow. The incidence may strongly rise again, possibly filling intensive care units, if vaccination levels are not high enough. A moderate, adaptive level of NPIs will thus remain necessary. These epidemiological aspects combined with economic, social, and health-related consequences provide a more holistic perspective on the future of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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