Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it's "possible" that the Covid-19 vaccine could become a yearly vaccine, like the flu shot.
“We hope we can contain this particular outbreak and all of its ramifications throughout the world in a way that doesn't have the ... cycling of various versions of the virus so that you have to address it differently each year,” Fauci said in an interview with Spectrum News' Lisa McRee on Tuesday.
Fauci also said that it's “entirely conceivable” that scientists are already working on a universal coronavirus vaccine that would address all the variants.
There are a number of new variants that have emerged recently. Here are the top four that are most worrying:
- B.1.1.7 was first seen in the UK. It appears to be transmitted the same way -- but is more contagious and easily spread, experts say.
- B.1.351 was first seen in South Africa and has since been reported in more than 30 other countries, according to the World Health Organization.
- P.1 is suspected of fueling a resurgence of viral spread in Brazil. It has since been reported in the US and Japan, carried by travelers from Brazil.
- L452R was seen in California as well as a dozen other states. Experts are still investigating the significance of this strain.