Influenza vaccines need to be evaluated every year to ensure they remain effective against new influenza viruses. Will the same apply to COVID-19 vaccines? In order to gauge whether and to what extent this may be necessary, a team of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin compared the evolution of endemic ‘common cold’ coronaviruses with that of influenza viruses. The researchers predict that, while the pandemic is ongoing, vaccines will need to undergo regular updates. A few years into the post-pandemic period, however, vaccines are likely to remain effective for longer. This study has been published in Virus Evolution.