Vaccine against COVID-19 – is it the beginning of the end of the pandemic?
December 17, 2020
In the last few weeks, results from several vaccine trials against COVID-19 have been published including the vaccines manufactured by BioNTech/Pfizer, Oxford-AstraZeneca and Moderna, each showing a very high efficacy. A few countries have already approved vaccine use and are beginning distribution to their population.
As supplies will be limited initially, it will take some months until everybody who wants to be vaccinated can receive vaccination. In the earliest months it is likely that healthcare workers and the elderly will be prioritized, followed by other high risk groups.
However, vaccination may not bring an end to the pandemic: on the contrary, it may actually prolong it. One concerning issue from the information available so far is that vaccination may not prevent infection although it would protect against severe disease. That means while vaccinated people are protected against severe symptoms, they might still be able to get infected with mild symptoms, and they might still be contagious. This supports the prioritization of elderly and high-risk persons for vaccination.
Vaccination might just the beginning of the end, and we must maintain our efforts in preventing transmission in the community as much as possible, by wearing masks, avoiding large gatherings, keeping a good personal hygiene and maintaining social distancing.
Here are some news articles discussing this issue in English:
Here are some news articles discussing this issue in Chinese: