Health Check Podcast: Why lifelong immunity from Covid-19 is unlikely

ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo speaks with Associate Professor Hsu Li Yang, an expert on infectious diseases at the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health to discuss why lifelong immunity from Covid-19 is unlikely.
ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo speaks with Associate Professor Hsu Li Yang, an expert on infectious diseases at the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health to discuss why lifelong immunity from Covid-19 is unlikely.ST PHOTO: JASON QUAH

Health Check Ep 71: Why lifelong immunity from Covid-19 is unlikely

15:54 mins

Synopsis: Every first and third Wednesday of the month, The Straits Times helps you make sense of health matters that affect you.

Singapore is gradually opening its borders to allow for quarantine-free travel as it moves towards a new normal of living with Covid-19. However, at home, restrictions remain in place to protect the unvaccinated seniors and prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.

The country is seeing very high numbers of daily Covid-19 cases, with a considerable number of people in the hospitals and about 10 or more dying from complications linked to Covid-19. Unvaccinated older adults account for most of these deaths, though some vaccinated people have also succumbed to the complications of the disease.

ST senior health correspondent Joyce Teo speaks with Associate Professor Hsu Li Yang, an expert on infectious diseases at the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health to find out more.

1. Are daily deaths expected in the year ahead, and will this number ever be reduced? (0:35)

2. Endemics always see infections come and go in waves, and Covid-19 is no different (4:40)

3. What is known about vaccinated elderly succumbing to Covid-19? (5:22)

4. Moderation is key to maintaining the balance between staying at home and going out for social benefits (7:00)

5. Likelihood of lifelong immunity from the first two standard Covid-19 jabs and a booster is unlikely, so yearly boosters should be expected (10:35)

6. Views on vaccinating children with only one dose of MRNA vaccines, based on medical opinions in Europe and US (13:47)

Produced by: Joyce Teo (joyceteo@sph.com.sg), Penelope Lee and Fa'izah Sani

Edited by: Penelope Lee and Hadyu Rahim

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