The idea is that it reduces the symptoms to make it less serious, which in turn means less instances of hospitalization and death. This means that based on the current trajectory, COVID-19 is expected to be an endemic that we have to live with, much like the flu, dengue, malaria, and so on.
However, researchers think that there is some hope on that front. In a study published last month, Paul Bieniasz, a virologist at Rockefeller University, and his colleagues found that there are some individuals who have developed “superhuman immunity” or “hybrid immunity” against the virus and its mutations and also future mutations that have yet to happen.
This was put to the test in a virus engineered to be highly resistant against neutralization with 20 different mutations that are designed to prevent antibodies from binding to it. The result was nothing short of amazing as these antibodies seemed to have no issues neutralizing it.
However, there is a catch, and it’s a big one. These antibodies seemed to have developed in people who were previously infected with the coronavirus and had received mRNA based vaccines. Even then, the researchers don’t know if everyone who has had COVID-19 and the mRNA vaccine will develop this level of immunity.
According to Bieniasz, “Based on all these findings, it looks like the immune system is eventually going to have the edge over this virus. And if we’re lucky, SARS-CoV-2 will eventually fall into that category of viruses that gives us only a mild cold.”