Future variants of COVID-19: Will new COVID mutants evade vaccines?

Future coronavirus variants could evade COVID-19 vaccines, a Duke University health expert recently warned.

News: David Montefiori, a virus expert at Duke University, told WRAL that current COVID-19 vaccines are working well against current COVID-19 variants.

  • But a new mutation could spell the end of vaccines, he said.

What he said: “We are seeing that these new forms become more transmissible and outperform the old form,” he said. “We will continue to have lineages of omicron that will evolve and hopefully not be able to evade vaccines.”

  • Montefiori told WRAL that immunity will decline and different variants will become dominant. There is a possibility that our immunity will decrease when a stronger variant arrives.
  • For this reason, he said, vaccines must be updated periodically.

Yes, but: The Duke health expert said viruses often become less severe over time. And coronaviruses are not good at evading vaccines like the flu.

  • “I think this virus will always be with us,” Montefiori said. “I think it will be something we have to live with.”

In the meantime, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s top pandemic scientist, told BuzzFeed News that we should expect to see variants in the future.

  • “It’s really hard to say what’s going to happen,” Fauci told BuzzFeed News. “But there will be new variants.”
  • He told BuzzFeed News that new strains of COVID will emerge in places where “there are large pockets of unvaccinated people giving the virus room to evolve.”

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