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Experts anticipate annual COVID-19 vaccines

Medical experts say the public should prepare to receive the COVID-19 vaccine annually.
Medical experts say the public should prepare to receive the COVID-19 vaccine annually.(KKTV)
Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 8:12 AM MST
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(KKTV) - Medical experts are urging the public to prepare to receive an annual COVID-19 vaccine, just like the flu shot.

Johnson & Johnson’s CEO was the latest to join the chorus Wednesday, pointing out that the virus will mutate, as it has already begun to do, and we will still need protection when it does.

Colorado Springs physician Dr. Richard Vu concurred.

“If there are mutations that occur fast enough that we see new variants every year, then yes, it would be appropriate and would be beneficial to come up with vaccines strains that target new mutations every year, just like the flu vaccine, yes.

“... Already within a year, within the last few months, we have seen new variants, and not just one or two, new variants are coming quickly.”

Much lot like Pandora’s box, once a virus is out in the world, it doesn’t just go away.

“We will live with SARS-CoV-2, we will live with new variants of SARS-CoV-2,” Vu said.

Eventually, COVID-19 is likely to become an endemic disease, or in other words, a virus that is always around, just not at pandemic levels. Like the flu is now, versus what the flu was during the pandemic of 1918-19.

Vu says he believes as the virus continues to mutate, we’ll have to stay on top of adjusting our vaccinations to fight back. We’ll also have to continue adjusting our own expectations as we learn more about the virus.

“I think the concept is there will be new information that’s coming. Things will change in order to cope with COVID-19 in our society. We have to be flexible to new things.”

Vu expects it’ll become easier to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the years to come, much as getting the flu vaccine is a simple process now.

“You get a flu shot every year; you might as well get two shots at the same time just once a year. Maybe there’s a combination of influenza vaccine and COVID vaccine that you could just get one shot in the future.”

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