The COVID-19 pandemic is almost three years old, and still hanging around, sporadically mutating into new variants, and festering in interminable waves.

How long will we need to maintain our social distancing and hide behind masks? Will this be the last time we see it or will it become endemic? The biggest question – is it over, or will it be over soon?

The good news: some experts are cautiously pointing to a near future where COVID-19 will start to lose its impact. Others say we’ll just learn to live with it. “As common as a cold or the flu.” 

Booster shots

The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, requires an additional "booster" dose of a Moderna or Pfizer mRNA-based vaccine, according to researchers at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard University.

As the effectiveness of the primary vaccine dose wears off over time, boosters improve your protection and immunity against the virus if you have been vaccinated. 

While the South African government has opened COVID-19 booster shots, the priority remains to vaccinate people who have not yet been vaccinated. Currently, the country has administered just under 30 million vaccinations.

No one quite knows when a new variant will pop up or the virus might resurge, so booster shots are an added layer of protection for those who have been vaccinated. 

While the regulations and lockdown restrictions are constantly being amended, the best way to prevent the spread is still to take precautionary measures. 

It’s possible that we could still see more “waves” – but the logical advice seems to be that we learn to live with COVID-19, while trying to be as healthy as possible.


Remember that if you contract COVID-19, you must wait at least 30 days after the infection before receiving a primary dose or a booster shot. 

  • Keep a safe distance from others, at least one metre, even if they don't appear to be sick.
  • Wear your mask out in public, especially if you can't separate yourself physically.
  • In restaurants, opt for open, well-ventilated areas over closed ones. If you are indoors, open a window.
  • Wash your hands frequently. Use soap and water or alcohol-based sanitiser to clean your hands. 
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with your elbow or a tissue.
  • If you are sick, stay at home. 
  • Get vaccinated and your booster shots when available.



This article is for informational purposes only. Always check with your doctor or medical practitioner about any health concerns, before embarking on any fitness or nutrition programme, and usage of any medication.