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Waning Immunity

It’s become very clear that immunity wanes over time. People are catching Covid even if they have been triple-jabbed or have caught Covid before. The protection against catching the virus wanes, but protection against getting seriously ill or dying is lasting much longer.

Why do we need to keep an eye on it?

Immunity is the only reason we’ve been able to relax restrictions. Two years ago, our bodies were fighting the virus blind, but now our immune systems have been trained. This level of immunity is the main reason the infection is now less deadly. However, significant waning of immunity could lead to new waves of Covid and even renewed pressure on hospitals. It’s possible we will have a "honeymoon period" where it looks like Covid is in total retreat, only for it to bounce back once enough immunity wanes.

What can we do about it?

The amount of protection we have against the virus will need to be constantly monitored. Immediately, this will dictate who gets further vaccine doses and how often. Fourth rounds of booster shots are already being given to those who are at high risk from the virus. In the longer term there is already work under way on a next generation of Covid vaccine to see whether it can provide longer-term protection.

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