Medical science now knows more about the SARS-CoV-2 virus than it did when it first became prevalent in early 2020, but there are still unknowns surrounding the virus. COVID-19, a coronavirus, is similar to the common cold and flu virus in that they are highly infectious and transmissible. The viruses are similar in that no cure has ever been discovered for any of them, but preventative measures have been created for some.
Dr. Daniel Gusberti has been tracking the progress of COVID-19 and tracking the effectiveness of the vaccine on the contraction and duration of an infection. Now he’s looking into the potential for the COVID-19 vaccine to join the flu vaccine as a preventative measure against illness.
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How COVID-19 is Similar to the Spanish Flu
The Spanish Flu spread around the world towards the end of WWI and left millions dead in its wake. Over time, the virus mutated to stop killing its hosts and became more of a nuisance than a death sentence. However, a flu vaccine wasn’t discovered until the 1930s, and widespread production of the vaccine wasn’t seen in the 1950s. Fewer people died from the flu as science learned how to create seasonal strains for flu vaccinations.
COVID-19 has exhibited a similar pattern to that of the flu in that it was overly aggressive in its first waves. It also demonstrated an ability to quickly mutate and infect people that weren’t vulnerable to the initial strain. Modern science created coronavirus vaccines that slowed the rate of infection but more importantly reduced serious illness.
The rapid vaccine response to COVID-19 made it so people could return to a more normal way of life. but viruses are known to adapt in order to survive attempts to eradicate them and this is seen as new variants.
Are COVID-19 Vaccines Going to Become Seasonal?
It’s still too soon to tell if the coronavirus will require regular vaccination and at what interval exactly. The number of covid cases fell during the lockdown and mask-wearing stages of COVID-19 but may emerge once more if novel variants develop.
As an endemic virus, it’s likely that seasonal vaccination will be needed to protect the populace against infection. Influenza remains a dangerous disease and does kill a number of people every year. It may be that people need to get both the flu and COVID-19 vaccination every year to protect themselves against infection. At this point, it remains unknown at what interval these vaccines may be required.
The future is still uncertain as to the need for a seasonal COVID-19 vaccine, but Dr. Daniel Gusberti is keeping an eye on recommendations from the major health organizations and will follow their advice in order to protect his patients from sickness.