What We Need to Know About the Future of the COVID Vaccine

A Yearly Vaccine on the Horizon
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Most had hoped for a ‘one-and-done’ approach to the coronavirus vaccine but it’s not looking like that is going to be the case. In fact, it looks like we may need to get at least COVID ‘booster shots’ each year going forward, though there’s no definitive answer from health officials just yet.

The CEO of Johnson & Johnson, one of the major health companies in the United States that’s expected to turn over their version of a COVID vaccine soon, believes it won’t be over just that fast. In fact, he believes that:

“Now exactly what that shot’s going to be comprised of, I don’t think we know today,” CEO Alex Gorsky stated. “But I think we can all imagine a future where we’re living with this, but where we can keep the science at pace with the virus so that we can keep on living our lives.”

Because the virus is expected to continue mutating there is no real way to know for sure what will be required in a vaccine. And for that reason he believes that we will need to start looking at the options and the very real possibility that new vaccines may need to be created continuously in order to keep at least one step ahead of the virus.

While there is not a great amount known about the potential future versions of the virus, we do know that it is already mutating at an alarming rate and current vaccines are only partially effective on the new variants. As it continues to mutate there is no way of knowing just how long the vaccines we presently have will provide adequate protection.

Much like the flu shot, it may be necessary to make an educated guess each year to determine the proper version of the vaccine to dole out. Or there may be new versions each year to combat newer strains rather than specific strains popping up regularly.

We still do not know just what might be coming in the future for coronavirus plans and vaccines, but it is possible that we will have more information as more people become vaccinated and as more information is available about the new variants. Researchers are already hard at work figuring out just what all of these things are going to mean for the future and for our ability to someday soon return to ‘normal life.’

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