It’s possible, maybe even probable, that the coronavirus may never disappear.

Britain’s top science advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, came before the House of Lords this week to say that the virus may never be a thing of the past, even with vaccines, as the Daily Mail reported.

“I think it’s unlikely that we will end up with a truly sterilizing vaccine - i.e. something that completely stops infection - and it’s likely that the disease will circulate and be endemic,” he said.

Vaccines will make it less likely to catch the virus, and the mutation rate is not as bad as it might be, Vallance said. But we may get an annual COVID shot, just like we get an annual flu shot.

This is not as bad as you might think. Even in the United States we are no strangers to endemic diseases.

The MMR vaccine, combatting measles, mumps and rubella, is standard practice now, but the three diseases haven’t really disappeared.

The AIDS epidemic abated in recent decades, but people still contract the disease. Viral Hepatitis is still a problem.

Tuberculosis, Lyme, pertussis, not to mention influenza and other coronaviruses, are all endemic diseases with which we deal every year, in varying degrees. We have vaccines for some of them, and have had those vaccines in regular circulation for decades.

So, the bad news is that COVID-19 may be here to stay, long-term.

The good news is that we can just add it to the list.