Immunologist says planning needed for 'repeated' Covid winter waves

Professor of Immunology Paul Moynagh has warned that planning needs to commence now for additional waves of Covid this winter.
Immunologist says planning needed for 'repeated' Covid winter waves

Vivienne Clarke

Professor of Immunology Paul Moynagh has warned that planning needs to commence now for additional waves of Covid this winter.

The consequences of repeated waves of the virus on the healthcare system will also need to be examined, he told Newstalk Breakfast.

Prof Moynagh said that the virus was here to stay. It was now an “additional” virus “we have to deal with”.

There was one advantage to the current wave, he said, it would provide immunity for some time.

But in the meantime, ventilation, air filtration and testing continued to play a role. High efficiency masks did offer protection, but even when masks were mandatory last December during the Omicron wave, people had contracted the virus, he said.

In time, the situation could arise where all that would be required would be for people to remain at home if they had symptoms, he said.

Prof Moynagh added there was a need for new technology and drugs companies needed to “step up” the search for a nasal vaccine as the most recent variants had an impact on the upper respiratory system.

When asked about long Covid and its effects, Prof. Moynagh said that more research was required to understand the condition better before drugs could be developed for its treatment.

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