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COVID-19: Annual shots likely not needed

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“like a cold”:
The ‘high-risk period’ of the COVID-19 pandemic is over, and the severity of the infection is likely to decline, says the head of the Immunization Commission

Annual vaccinations for COVID-19 are likely not necessary for most people as the disease is expected to become more like the common cold, says the Health Ministry’s Advisory Committee on Immunizations. chairman Lee Ping-ing said yesterday. .

Officials commented in a radio interview highlighting the expected evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying on Wednesday the government is considering downgrading the epidemic classification of COVID-19 by May. It followed statements from Epidemic Command Center (CECC) officials. Or June.

The number of newly reported COVID-19 cases recently topped 30,000 per day, but Lee said the pandemic’s “high-risk” period is over.

“Right now, what we should pay attention to is the number of severely infected people and the number of deaths.

However, he added that COVID-19 is still more lethal than the seasonal flu.

He said it’s important for those susceptible to the disease, such as the elderly, to get regular boosters of the vaccine.

Mr. Lee said COVID-19 “will look more like the common cold than the flu.”

Influenza vaccines must be administered regularly because the virus mutates rapidly and is more likely to evade an immune response in infected individuals, potentially causing severe illness and death.

The common cold virus has a limited chance of mutating and poses little health risk, Lee said, adding that a vaccine is therefore not needed.

Common colds are usually caused by rhinoviruses, of which over 100 are frequently detected, or by one of four different coronaviruses.

SARS-CoV-2 could become the fifth coronavirus to commonly cause the common cold, he said.

A COVID-19 vaccine will probably only be needed for newborns, who have never been exposed to the virus and are at higher risk, and older people with weakened immune systems, Lee said.

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