Finally, as the pandemic reaches around the eighth month of infection in the United States, and longer in other parts of the globe, there appears to be some good news on the horizon. A couple of vaccines have been in the works, and Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech have released their shocking and promising results just last week. Their vaccines have proven to be 95% effective. And although this seems to be good news, it’s important to remember that just because the vaccine has proven so highly effective in trials that we won’t have to wait for its release as well as protect ourselves in the meantime. As reported by CNN, “The US has now recorded more than 100,000 daily infections for two weeks straight and on Monday reported more than 166,000 new cases. On the same day, another new high: more than 73,000 Covid-19 patients were in hospitals nationwide, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.” With that being said, there is a time for rapid response and a time for a safe response. According to an article from the FDA’s Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., FDA Commissioner, and Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, “We are committed to expediting the development of COVID-19 vaccines, but not at the expense of sound science and decision making. We will not jeopardize the public’s trust in our science-based, independent review of these or any vaccines. There’s too much at stake.”
So, while this vaccine appears to be a saving grace, it could be months if not an entire year before we begin reaping the benefits of a vaccine. And once that vaccine does come into play, it will be used on the most high-risk candidates first- older generations and those with preexisting conditions- and then onto regular folks. But, there will surely be a lot of deliberation before we reach that point. So, up until the vaccine release and probably long after it’s release, we will be looking at months of adjusting America and the globe back to its status quo. Assuming that representatives and officials won’t continue some of their mandates even after a vaccine is released.
But, most importantly on top of everyone’s mind is the choice of whether or not they should receive the vaccine. They are looking out for the people they trust the most to deliver the news as well as doing their research before diving in line to become immunized. And there’s a lot of that to sift through while making your determination if the vaccine is worth it. The CDC has developed a frequently asked questions page on its website to help answer some of those major questions. Questions like will there be enough of the vaccine for everyone, what about vaccinating my children, and or if someone has already been exposed should they still get vaccinated. Again, the vaccine is in the early stages and has many hoops to jump through before its validity is determined as well as answer all the questions that are on peoples’ minds. But, for now, all we can do is remain safe and hope for speedy results. And remember that until we have a clear cut decision on what to do, all people should be practicing social distancing, if not for themselves, for those who surround them.