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With vaccinations, what does the future hold for COVID-19?

“We still have so much virus out there in the community. I don’t anticipate this is going anywhere in 2021.”

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — We know the virus is here to stay, but how will we view it in years to come?

“We still have so much virus out there in the community. I don’t anticipate this is going anywhere in 2021,” said director of infection prevention at UF Health Jacksonville, Chad Neilsen. 

Just last March, COVID-19 completely changed society.

But what will the world look like with the coronavirus moving forward? 

“We hope that within a few years, we’ll see a decline and negative outcomes related to COVID-19 disease as well as a decrease in the spread," said director of employee health at Baptist Health, Dr. Vincy Samuel. 

Samuel says right now, COVID-19 is running rampant because our immune systems don’t know what to make out of it.

“This is where we're really encouraging vaccinations because we want our immune systems to recognize it and be able to fight it," said Samuel.

Neilsen says only time will tell, 2021 will be the year doctors will get a better grip on how this virus unfolds.

“I think 2021 is going to be the year of vaccination and hopefully by the end of the year we're going to start to see the pandemic slip across the world," said Neilsen. 

There are still many factors that play a role on how researchers can predict the future, but with time, Samuel says those concerns will be answered.

“As long as our immune systems are recognizing it and able to fight it that either we don’t get the disease or if we do get the disease it’s a very mild version of it," said Samuel. 

Samuel says unfortunately at this point, we could still spread the virus even while being immune to it.

“That's the factor in why we might still see the virus circulating even after people are immune to it," said Samuel. 

Doctors say that’s why practicing good hygiene, wearing your mask and getting the vaccine when it’s your time is crucial.