A top British researcher says coronavirus will be with people "forever in some form or another," and people will need regular vaccinations, according to the BBC.
Sir Mark Walport's remarks followed comments from the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) saying he wished the pandemic would end within two years like the Spanish flu did.
Sir Mark said countries are more densely populated and people travel more than in 1918 when the Spanish Flu struck.
During an interview with BBC Radio 4, Sir Mark said to control coronavirus outbreaks, "global vaccination" would be needed, but that the disease is not like smallpox, which was easily eradicated by vaccination."
"This is a virus that is going to be with us forever in some form or another, and almost certainly will require repeated vaccinations," Mark said. "So, a bit like flu, people will need re-vaccination at regular intervals."
Sir Mark cautioned that it was "possible" coronavirus to spin "out of control" again but that more focused strategies could now replace generic lockdowns to keep outbreaks at bay.
"We know that less than one in five people around the country have been infected, so 80% of the population are still susceptible to this virus," Sir Mark said. "It is this terrible balance between trying to minimize the harm to people from the infection and protecting people, whilst keeping society going."
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