It has been over two years since the identification of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While no one can be certain on how and when the pandemic will end, here at Medicago, we are looking into the future and identifying how we can help.

COVID-19 is likely to become endemic

The broad consensus among the scientific community is that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is likely to become endemic 1. This means that the virus will continue to circulate, albeit at a lower or more predictable level, and cause pockets of outbreaks in particular populations (immune-compromised and unvaccinated). Should the virus become endemic, it will require long-term management through periodic vaccination and acquired immunity.

Thousands of COVID-19 variants

Research suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 virus picks up, on average, two single-letter mutations per month 2. Today, there are thousands of COVID-19 variants, and while not all mutations are a cause for concern, some variants in the past — like Delta and Omicron — caught the scientific community’s attention because of their increased transmissibility and/or greater immune evasion (i.e., the ability to avoid detection by the body’s immune system). With the virus continuing to mutate, vaccines against COVID-19 will need to evolve to remain effective, either in the way influenza vaccines are updated annually to protect us against circulating strains 3, or via pan coronavirus vaccine strategies to confer cross-protection against a broad spectrum of variants.

Our Goal: help support the fight

Global access to new vaccines is essential to help reduce the risk of new outbreaks and help prevent the emergence of new variants 4. We, at Medicago, are committed to continually develop effective vaccines to be part of future solutions. What we have learned so far to help fight the pandemic will be used in the future.  Our journey is, by no means, nearing the end.

1 https://www.publichealth.columbia.edu/public-health-now/news/epidemic-endemic-pandemic-what-are-differences

2 https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02544-6  

3 https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccine-selection.htm   

4 https://hub.jhu.edu/2021/12/21/global-vaccination-prevents-variants-durbin-moss/