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Covid: Herd immunity may not be possible warns leading experts – is Covid here to stay?

These include the virus’ ability to continually mutate to new variants; asymptomatic virus transmission, which complicates public health control strategies; the inability of prior infection or vaccination to provide durable protection against reinfection; suboptimal vaccination coverage; and adherence to non-pharmacologic interventions.

However, the authors noted, controlling COVID-19 without major disruptions to society is now achievable because of widespread background immunity via prior infection or vaccination, booster shots, antiviral drugs, monoclonal antibody therapies and widely available diagnostic tests.

Research to develop pan-coronavirus vaccines, which could protect against multiple coronaviruses or at least multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants, remains crucial.

Living with Covid is best considered not as reaching a numerical threshold of immunity, but as optimising population protection without prohibitive restrictions on our daily lives, the authors concluded.



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