Future coronavirus variants could evade the COVID-19 vaccines, a health expert at Duke University recently warned.

The news: David Montefiori, a viral expert at Duke University, told WRAL that the current COVID-19 vaccines are working well against the current COVID-19 variants.

  • But a new mutation could spell doom for the vaccines, he said.

What he said: “We are seeing these new forms acquiring increased transmissibility and out-competing the earlier form,” he said. “We will continue to have omicron lineages that will evolve and hopefully not be able to evade the vaccines.”

  • Montefiori told WRAL immunity will wane and different variants will become dominant. There’s a chance our immunity will drop when a stronger variant arrives.
  • That’s why, he said, the vaccines need to be updated regularly.

Yes, but: The Duke health expert said that viruses often become less severe over time. And coronaviruses aren’t good at evading vaccines like the flu.

  • “I think this virus is always going to be with us,” Montefiori said. “I think it’s going to be something we have to live with.”
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Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief pandemic scientist for the White House, told BuzzFeed News that we should expect to see variants in the future.

  • “It’s really tough to say what is going to happen,” Fauci told BuzzFeed News. “But there are going to be new variants.”
  • He told BuzzFeed News that new COVID variants will rise up in places where “you have large pockets of unvaccinated people that give the virus room to evolve.”
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