Covid-19 has infected more than 278 million people globally, with at least 5.4 million deaths recorded by the World Health Organization as of 26 December 2021. The omicron (B.1.1.529) variant of concern is spreading rapidly.
Some countries view infection as a net harm and pursue strategies ranging from suppression to elimination. They seek to sustain low infection rates through a combination of vaccination, public health measures, and financial support measures (vaccines-plus). Other countries implemented mitigation strategies that aim to prevent health systems from being overwhelmed by building population immunity through a combination of infection and vaccination. These countries rely on a vaccines-only approach and seem willing to tolerate high levels of infection provided their healthcare systems can cope.
In an open letter by a group of public health experts, clinicians, scientists, they suggest a vaccines-plus approach should be adopted globally.