The COVID-19 vaccines have saved countless lives but they aren’t able to stop the chaos caused by a highly contagious new virus. This has led people to ask: Do we need boosters every few weeks? A new vaccine recipe? A whole new type of shot?

The COVID-19 vaccines have saved countless lives but they aren’t able to stop the chaos caused by a highly contagious new virus. This has led people to ask: Do we need boosters every few weeks? A new vaccine recipe? A whole new type of shot?

Although the shots are still performing their primary job, experts warn against setting too high standards.

Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, chief infectious disease officer at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, stated that “we need to collectively rethink what is the goal for vaccination.” It’s absurd to think that vaccinations will protect everyone from any type of infection.

“If the goal is to prevent serious illness, we may not need as much fine-tuning vaccines each time a new version comes out.”

It is basically shape-shifting, and the virus cannot predict how bad the next version will be. sub-strain omicron with its own unique mutations has been discovered. Although research is ongoing to develop next-generation vaccines that may offer greater protection against future mutations, they are not likely to be available anytime soon.

The immediate solution is to get today’s shots into more arms. This will “reduce the chances for the virus to evolve and spawn new Greek letters we then need to worry about,” Jennifer Nuzzo, of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security said.


Antibodies are responsible for blocking infection. They form either after vaccination or following a previous COVID-19 treatment.

One problem is that mutations can alter the appearance of the spike protein covering the coronavirus, much in the same way crooks switch disguises to avoid capture. Because of this, omicron was able to pass the first defense more easily than other variants. However, existing antibodies were unable to recognize its spike coating.

The immune system is not designed to constantly be on alert so antibodies that protect against infection wane over time. People were not protected against an omicron infection for several months after receiving two doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. This was due to both the waning of antibodies and the mutation.

T cells, which are different immune system soldiers known as T cells, are crucial in preventing an infection from turning to severe illness. This protection lasts longer because T cells recognize other viruses that don’t easily mutate.


The protection against omicron-related symptoms is 70% after a booster. This is not the same protection as the 94% seen with earlier versions, which were more closely linked to the vaccine but still highly effective. The booster further enhanced protection against serious illnesses.

Researchers are monitoring whether infection-fighting antibodies persist after the third dose, but they will eventually diminish. Memory cells, also known as memory cells, can produce more when the body needs them.

Israel offers a fourth dose for some people, including those over 60, with mulling providing an additional boost to all adults.

It is a debate as to whether repeated boosters are the best option, especially considering that scary new variants are less likely once more people get their first vaccinations.

Endless boosting to maintain antibody levels high is not a good public health strategy, according to Dr. Paul Offit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Moderna and Pfizer are currently testing omicron-specific boosts in adults in the United States. However, it is not clear whether authorities would change a vaccine that has saved lives to make way for a modified version with the hope of fewer breakthrough infections. Technically, it is possible to mix two types of vaccine in one shot, but they would need to prove that the combination doesn’t reduce the original protection against severe illnesses.


Whatever happens to omicron it is clear that the coronavirus will be around forever. The U.S. National Institutes of Health has invested $43 million to fund projects to develop “pan-coronavirus vaccines” that can protect against multiple types of the virus. One option: Nanoparticles could carry spike proteins that are different from the one in vaccines today.

Although it’s a tempting idea, Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIH infectious disease chief, said that it was a long-term effort. He said, “I don’t want anyone to believe that pan-coronavirus vaccinations are literally just around the corner.”

Another option is to create COVID-19 vaccines which can be injected into the nose. This will allow us to develop antibodies that will fight the virus from the moment we encounter it. Although nasal vaccines are more difficult to create than injection versions, there are many attempts. One example is the large study by India’s Bharat Biotech.


A disturbing reality is that only 10% of low-income people have received at least one dose of vaccines. This makes any change in vaccine strategy even more difficult. Recent studies have shown that certain vaccines are easier for omicrons to evade than others, so booster strategies may be necessary.

Yale University researchers discovered no omicron-targeted antibody in people who received two doses of Sinovac vaccine. The booster shot by Pfizer, a different type of vaccine, was effective but not sufficient. It only increased antibody levels to those who did not receive a booster.

Dr. Jesse Goodman, Georgetown University’s former Food and Drug Administration chief vaccine scientist, said that the most important question is “we don’t know how we can predict the next strain”. He would like to see a global strategy which defines the trigger for any vaccine changes. “We will have a confused public again,” he said.