HomeCovid UpdatesCoronavirus: Will you need a COVID-19 vaccine every year?

Coronavirus: Will you need a COVID-19 vaccine every year?

Call it coronavirus or COVID, it is here to stay. Experts worldwide and the World Health Organization (WHO) have already confirmed the same. So, if you are thinking that Omicron is the last variant of COVID-19, you are wrong. According to experts, there is no guarantee whether the next variant will be less or more dangerous. If that’s the case, one thing will surely come to everyone’s mind. Will you need a COVID-19 vaccine every year?

Future variants of coronavirus

Till now, vaccines are the best alternatives to fight the first few variants of COVID-19. However, the case is not the same for Omicron, Delta, and the other variants that developed later. That is because most of them are showing immune escape properties. Moreover, there is a high chance that the future variants will show similar characteristics. Akiko Iwasaki, a professor of epidemiology at Yale School of Medicine talked about the same to Bloomberg.

She said, “The virus keeps raising that bar for us every few months. When we were celebrating the amazing effectiveness of booster shots against the delta variant, the bar was already being raised by omicron.” She further said, “It seems like we are constantly trying to catch up with the virus.”

Effects of COVID-19 vaccines

Unfortunately, the effects of vaccines made for coronavirus wane with time. Several studies have proved the same. This was mentioned in an article published in Nature Magazine. So, the immunized people against COVID-19 will lose almost half of their defensive antibodies every 108 days. So, the initially offered vaccines that provided 90% protection may be effective only 70% after 6-7 months. The neutralizing antibodies do not have much-staying power. However, they are the ones that intercept viruses that attempt to infiltrate cells. The levels of such molecules go up immediately after vaccination. However, these levels diminish after some time.

WHO on coronavirus vaccinations

WHO has already suggested reworking the present COVID-19 vaccinations. That will ensure whether they are perfect to fight the future variants of coronavirus. They said, “The composition of current COVID vaccines may need to be updated to ensure that vaccines continue to provide WHO-recommended levels of protection against infection and disease by VOCs, including Omicron and future variants.” They also said, “COVID-19 vaccines need to… elicit immune responses that are broad, strong and long-lasting in order to reduce the need for successive booster doses.”

The work of Pharma companies

Numerous Pharma companies like Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech have announced vaccines that are omicron-specific. Several others are also working towards it just like them. According to experts, it is the need of the hour to upgrade the COVID-19 vaccines to keep up with the variants.

Will everyone need coronavirus vaccines?

The question about everyone needing coronavirus vaccines is still stagnant. What experts are focusing on right now is identifying who needs them and who does not. A recent study revealed that Omicron causes a relatively mild infection in some people. That is especially for those people who had taken three to four doses earlier. So, it becomes important to identify which people need the booster doses and updated vaccines.

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