It finally seemed like the United States and much of the world could finally be on their way to a COVID-19 free world by the end of the year. As mass vaccination efforts continue and overall virus infection rates decrease countrywide, President Biden has been holding true to his promise to ramp up the government response to the pandemic. An unforeseeable wildcard that could extend the recovery time from the pandemic lies in the variations of the virus that have emerged. 


Antonio Masiello/Getty Images

As reported by NBC News, the current COVID-19 vaccines on the market could become ineffective against the virus as soon as next year due to mutations in the strain. According to a new survey taken by The People's Vaccine Alliance, nearly 65% of the 77 epidemiologists, virologists, and infectious disease specialists who were surveyed think the window for the vaccine's effectiveness sits at around nine months or less. 

Less than one-eighth of those surveyed reported that they believed these variants would not make the current vaccine ineffective. The majority, however, believe we have, "a year or less before the virus mutates to the extent that the majority of first-generation vaccines are rendered ineffective and new or modified vaccines are required.” The experts surveyed are from some of the world's leading academic institutions across 28 countries. 


Jean-Christophe Guillaume/Getty Images

Additionally, the survey found that 88% of experts agree that, “persistent low vaccine coverage in many countries would make it more likely for vaccine-resistant mutations to appear.” Judging by the pace of the current global vaccination administration, only 10 percent of people in the mainly poor countries will be vaccinated within the next year. 

As more of the virus' mutations emerge, vaccine developers across the globe have reported they've begun working on booster shots to deal with the variants.

 
Jon Cherry/Getty Images

[via