Covid will be like endemic flu due to variants: Canadian expert

Coronavirus will become a part of the viral ecosystem — akin to the seasonal endemic flu — due to the spread of several variants of concern, according to a Canadian health expert, as per media reports.

To deal with such a spread, vaccine makers will have to adapt and modify their shots over the coming years, Dr. Alan Bernstein, an expert on Canada government’s Covid-19 Task Force, was quoted as saying to

Canada is already negotiating with vaccine suppliers for it, he said.

“We’ve been in this journey before, of course, with [the] flu, we all get the influenza vaccine every year and every year is a different vaccine because the influenza virus changes every year,” said Bernstein.

“So those are variants, and some years, of course, the flu variants can be very serious and some years are quite mild — the ones that are serious, we don’t call them variants of concern, but we could.

“And so I think we’re going to enter into that world now with the Covid-19 variants of concern and the ones that we know about now,” Bernstein, CEO of CIFAR, a Toronto-based global research organisation, was quoted as saying.

Canada has seen the spread of the B117 variant. First discovered in the UK, B117 has become the main Covid variant in the country. It is of more concern as it is up to 65 per cent more transmissible. Another variant in the country is the more vaccine-resistant B1351 variant, initially found in South Africa.