MIAMI — It’s 2022. And people have learned to live surrounded by the novel coronavirus and its many variants moving across the world that cause COVID-19.
Employees are back in the office using a staggered schedule. Kids are in the classroom again. Live theater, concerts and sporting events are playing to audiences across South Florida. And people no longer need to wear a mask to enter a store or dine at a restaurant.
Occasionally, you’ll still see someone masked up. The typical Miami kiss greeting is more exclusive, reserved for those you truly trust. And negative tests are still required for international travel.
But what’s happening with vaccines? Will we need booster shots? Will little kids be eligible for the vaccine? Will the pandemic be over?
Experts interviewed by the Miami Herald are looking to the future. Here’s what they are saying about life in 2022:
The future of vaccines
The novel coronavirus, or one of its many variants, will still be circulating in 2022, but at much lower levels because of vaccinations.
“I don’t think we’ll ever go back to 2019 where we’ll have no COVID,” said Dr. Sergio Segarra, chief medical officer for Baptist Hospital. “I think there will always be a certain amount of our population that will have COVID.”
Children younger than 12 will be eligible for a shot and there’s a chance at least one vaccine will have received full FDA authorization by then.
Vaccines will mainly be given through pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens and Publix, just like the flu shot. Government-run sites will be closed although some might reopen to offer booster shots, which both Pfizer and Moderna expect will be needed.