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The World Health Network is working to help communities and countries respond more strongly and effectively to the pandemic. Our network has scientific and community teams around the world
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Yes. Current vaccines provide limited protection against infection from current variants.

    No. Vaccines don't prevent transmission, they do help reduce severity of the initial phase of the infection.

    Yes. Current vaccines provide limited protection against infection, and against long COVID which causes both long term disabling symptoms and organ damage that leads to heart attacks and strokes.

    Yes. Infection does not provide protection against reinfection over time and in the face of new variants.

    N95 or similar masks including KF94, FFP2, or KN95 masks (respirators) can be obtained that fit anyone 2 years old and older.

    The protective effect of vaccination decreases over time, especially against newer variants. The “boosters” – additional doses of the vaccine – restore some level of short term protection.

    No. New variants occur when there is a large amount of transmission, which enables mutations every time a new viral particle is formed. Since current vaccines don’t prevent transmission, they do not prevent new variants from forming.

    Avoiding being in the same space with people who may be infected protects you from infection. It is not enough to be 6 ft apart. The virus is more concentrated in the air around infected people. But as they breathe out aerosols containing the virus spread in the room like smoke. Aerosols float and linger in the air for hours, spreading throughout indoor spaces. Being in the same room with someone who is infected puts you at risk of breathing in the aerosols, and becoming infected.

    Unfortunately, mask quality varies considerably and there has been fraud, so use a reliable source for masks, e.g. See

    No. While fit testing secures a higher level of protection, individuals wearing non-fit-tested high-quality masks still have strong protection against infection compared to surgical masks. See

    Masks and respirators can be worn for many hours, and re-used until damaged, soiled, or damp. A disposable N95 is likely to be effective for approximately 40 hours. Standard use practice includes rotating masks by storing them in paper bags so that a week passes between reuse.

    It is not generally possible to estimate a timeline for cases to come down. However, society has the ability to reduce cases through collective action. 

    As long as widespread transmission of COVID-19 continues, more variants will emerge. 

    Variants do not become automatically less severe, especially because transmission occurs long before the disease becomes severe or people die. New variants which take over will be more transmissible, which makes them more severe for public health. And variants generally will become more severe if it improves the rate of transmission.

    Test when you have symptoms, or have reasons to suspect exposure, or are going to an event where exposing others is possible. More generally, surveillance or mass testing can be used to reduce transmission in the community by identifying cases.

    No. COVID-19 is a highly transmissible, potentially disabling or fatal virus. The long term effects include disabling symptoms, including harm to cognitive function, as well as heart attacks and strokes. It is not just a respiratory disease, It is a vascular disease and damages multiple organs. Despite widespread disinformation, its effects on individuals as well as on society are much more severe than the flu. 

    The term “endemic” is widely misunderstood and misused. It is used to suggest it can’t be eliminated (so stop trying) and that at some time in the future (but presumably soon) it will become very mild, like the common cold. Endemicity actually means that it is regularly found in a geographical area. It does not mean that it has become mild or that it can’t be eliminated. Moreover, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t stopped mutating or disrupting society. COVID-19 will be endemic if we fail to control it, and we should avoid this outcome.

    Elimination is the reduction to zero of the incidence of a specific disease or infection in an area over a period of time. Elimination does not mean eradication, which refers to global elimination. Elimination requires ongoing vigilance and some measures to prevent renewed transmission. Many diseases have been eliminated in large parts of the world including yellow fever, malaria, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, and smallpox.

    Eradication is the permanent worldwide reduction to zero of infection caused by a specific disease as the result of deliberate efforts so that measures of protection are no longer needed. Smallpox has been eradicated. Many diseases caused by zoonotic outbreaks have also been eradicated. 

    Accuracy of public health statistics varies by country or region, depending on health system capabilities, capacity, and transparency. 

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    Experts & Advisors Team

    Wendy Wisner
    Wendy Wisner
    Wendy Wisner is a writer and lactation consultant (IBCLC) who covers general health topics.
    Sinéad Ní Fhaoláin
    Sinéad Ní Fhaoláin
    Lifelong Volunteer & Activist
    Andrew Ewing
    Andrew Ewing
    Professor of Analytical Chemistry
    Ph.D. in Chemistry by the University of Indiana. Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology, University ...
    Jennifer Curtin, MD
    Jennifer Curtin, MD
    Dr. Curtin is a physician and post-viral illness expert specializing in myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) ...
    View all

    Who We Are

    Global Community

    We are a global community devoted to protecting health and minimizing harm to individuals and society in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We advocate for effective responses to end the pandemic as a global health threat.

    Experts and Advocates

    Our members have guided successful elimination efforts, advised governments, advocated for airborne precautions, and led community-based efforts to promote individual and public health.


    We are independent from any political body or government. We are guided by compassion, science, transparency, social responsibility, and value for life.