As millions are inoculated against the coronavirus, and the pandemic’s end finally seems to glimmer into view, scientists are envisioning what a post-vaccine world might look like — and what they see is comforting.
The coronavirus is here to stay, but once most adults are immune — following natural infection or vaccination — the virus will be no more of a threat than the common cold, according to a study published in the journal Science on Tuesday.
The virus is a grim menace now because it is an unfamiliar pathogen that can overwhelm the adult immune system, which has not been trained to fight it. That will no longer be the case once everyone has been exposed to either the virus or vaccine.
Children, on the other hand, are constantly challenged by pathogens that are new to their bodies, and that is one reason they are more adept than adults at fending off the coronavirus. Eventually, the study suggests, the virus will be of concern only in children younger than 5, subjecting even them to mere sniffles — or no symptoms at all.
In other words, the coronavirus will become “endemic,” a pathogen that circulates at low levels and only rarely causes serious illness.
Read the rest here: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/12/health/coronavirus-immunity-future.html