Experts believe a COVID-19 booster and annual vaccine will be required in order to ward off future variants of the disease.
Similar to the annual flu shot that is given out to control the variants around the world, medical experts are looking into developing a similar booster to fight off future mutations of the COVID-19 virus.
Further ammunition to fight off the virus
Over the weekend, Britain's vaccine deployment ministers announced that a potential booster would be offered in the autumn—when contagion is at its highest—as a way to strengthen the efficacy level of the vaccination rollout program in the UK.
Over 12 million doses have already been administered across the UK which will enable the government to achieve its initial goal of vaccinating the most vulnerable groups by mid-February. The rise of the super-spreading coronavirus mutations that originated in South Africa, Brazil and England prompted experts to look into the development of further ammunition against future variants.
Minister for Business and Industry and Covid Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zahawi explains that:
We see very much probably an annual or a booster in the autumn and then an annual (vaccination), in the way we do with flu vaccinations where you look at what variant of virus is spreading around the world.
Adding that current figures of the vaccination program are a promising indicator that the fight against the virus will soon come to an end:
We got to 979 jabs a minute so the deployment infrastructure of which GPs are absolutely the backbone of this whole deployment with hospital hubs, national vaccination centres, now we have 100 national vaccination centres, and 200 pharmacies.
Current vaccine is not enough
But a reinforcing shield will be necessary in order to fully immunize the population. The AstraZenaca's vaccine developed with the University of Oxford has been shown to only marginally protect against the South African variant.
As of February 8, the UK has seen a six week low daily death rate of 333 fatalities with a little over 14,000 new daily cases having been reported.