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  • Endemic SARS-CoV-2 will maintain post-pandemic immunity

    This article in _Nature Reviews Immunology_ suggests that “SARS-CoV-2 is likely to become the fifth endemic common cold virus, causing largely asymptomatic infections.”

    Endemic SARS-CoV-2 will ensure maintenance of seroprevalence and mucosal immunity in the population, which will increase over time in new generations. As such, most infected individuals will ultimately endure a largely asymptomatic or mild course of disease, although similarly to the other common cold HCoVs, SARS-CoV-2 may cause fatalities in extremely vulnerable elderly or immunocompromised individuals. SARS-CoV-2 mutants will arise as already reported, but new variants will unlikely differ sufficiently to escape established immunity. Cross-reactive immunity, critically boosted by natural reinfections, should conserve good levels of population protection also against new variants, thereby preventing the occurrence of severe disease, including in the vulnerable. Therefore, we predict that the need for large-scale vaccination programmes will be transient until an endemic state for SARS-CoV-2 is reached.

    (tags: sars-cov-2 covid-19 diseases immunology nature)

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