“We are clearly transitioning from pandemic to what we call endemic,” Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, told Healthline. “That means it will continue to live with us and smolder around us and we are all learning how to contend with it.”
Schaffner pointed out that hospitalizations are relatively stable even with the current rise in cases. So, he explained, the virus is doing exactly what infectious disease experts predicted at the start if not enough people were vaccinated quickly.
Dr. Monica Gandhi, the director of the University of California San Francisco Center for AIDS Research, told Healthline that someday a once-a-year inoculation could exist. For now, though, it does not.
“The mRNA vaccines are powerful in terms of preventing severe disease with COVID-19 across populations because of the multifaceted immune response they generate,” she said.