A leading Covid scientist has floated the idea that people may simply get the "sniffles" when they catch the virus in the future.
It came as Tory MPs called for ministers to make a promise of no more lockdowns when they reopen the country.
Prof Andrew Pollard, the head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said the "jury is out" about whether new Covid vaccines will be needed to combat mutant strains but expressed hope those already developed can stop severe cases.
"If people have just got the sniffles then I think our job is done," Prof Pollard told MPs on Tuesday as he looked ahead to the coming years during an event hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus.
With scientists increasingly talking about an annual Covid jab and warning that the virus will not disappear entirely, MPs are considering how to balance the long-term needs of protecting people and rebuilding the economy.
Conservative backbenchers eager to see restrictions loosened as soon as is realistically possible have told The Telegraph they want Government ministers to make assurances that nationwide lockdowns will not be repeated.
The idea is that to kickstart the economic recovery – getting businesses to reopen and triggering a spending boom – company bosses and workers have to be reassured that the lifting of the rules will not be reversed weeks later.