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Can We End the Pandemic?

The emergence of dangerous new coronavirus variants is threatening the progress that we have made with the help of COVID-19 vaccines. It is now clear that our pharmaceutical research efforts and public-health interventions will need to be redoubled – and without any sunset clauses.

CAMBRIDGE – At the start of the year, there was reason to hope that we were beginning to see the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the United States, the daily rate of new cases from the holiday surge began to drop precipitously, and the vaccine rollout accelerated soon thereafter. Although Europe lagged in the early months of 2021, there, too, the tide started to turn by April, as the pace of vaccination finally picked up.