NEW DELHI: The Covid-19 vaccine may become an annual ritual. The virus may reach its endemic stage after a while, just like influenza, and the vulnerable population may have to take the vaccine shot annually, said Samiran Panda, Head, Division of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
He explained that influenza, commonly known as flu, was a pandemic 100 years ago but today it is an endemic.
“Similarly, in case of Covid-19, we expect that it will gradually become an endemic from its current state of being a pandemic. Currently, we recommend the elderly to take annual flu shots. As the influenza virus keeps on mutating, we simultaneously make minor changes in the vaccine. So, there is no need to panic. The vaccines available now are largely effective against the new variants of Covid-19," he said.
Experiments at the ICMR have proved that the vaccines presently available in India are effective against the new variants as well. However, the efficacy may differ for different strains, he said, reports News 18.