As the winter is kicking in, scientists are worried about the compelling evidence suggesting for a surge of COVID-19 this autumn and winter. Along with a bigger comeback of RSV and Flu, the emergence of new immune-evading strains of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant, behavior changes, and waning immunity are more likely to push the infection rates higher. Scientists are exploring the factors that might drive a COVID-19 wave and the ways to minimize the effects with the new generation of vaccines and other preventive measures.
For individuals and public health agencies to get well prepared, scientists are digging into basic questions like whether will there be a COVID-19 wave this autumn and winter, are new variants behind rising case numbers, will we see a new Omicron strain this autumn, why are these variants on the rise, how big will autumn–winter waves be, what about the new vaccines, etc. Although evidence hinges towards a potential surge, fortunately, COVID-19 vaccines, both old and new, remain highly effective in preventing severe diseases and death, thus urging for concentrated booster campaigns on those at the highest risk of severe disease, including older and immunocompromised people, who will benefit the most from the added protection.