When a coronavirus vaccine is available -- in months, or a year, or two years -- the Washington Post reports that scientists studying its genetic code believe the vaccine will be a long-lasting one, and not something needed to be developed for each new strain. For instance, the SARS epidemic a few years back was also a coronavirus. (The coronavirus is the generic name for this virus. The name of this specific, new strain is COVID-19.)
The vaccine would most likely be more along the lines of the measles or chickenpox vaccines, something that would provide immunity for many years.
“That’s a relatively small number of mutations for having passed through a large number of people,” said Peter Thielen, a molecular geneticist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. “At this point, the mutation rate of the virus would suggest that the vaccine developed for SARS-CoV-2 would be a single vaccine, rather than a new vaccine every year like the flu vaccine.”
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