A coronavirus vaccine has long been described as the panacea for this pandemic. A magical shot in the arm triggers an immunity — enough immunity among us, and over time, the virus will go away, the thinking goes.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth, as the Washington Post reports. The harsh reality: even once we’ve found a vaccine, it could take months — if not years — for societies to return to some semblance of normality.
“Don’t expect a vaccine to be “an off-switch” or “a reset button where we will go back to pre-pandemic times,” Yonatan Grad, an assistant professor of infectious diseases and immunology at the Harvard, told the Post.
“Things will not be done by Christmas,” Jeremy Farrar, director of UK health advocacy group Wellcome Trust, told the House of Commons’ Health Committee last month, as quoted by the BBC. “This infection is not going away, it’s now a human endemic infection.”
“Even when a vaccine is introduced, I think we will have several months of significant infection or at least risk of infection to look forward to,” Jesse Goodman, the former chief scientist at the Food and Drug Administration, told The Atlantic late last month.
Experts have predicted early vaccines will likely only protect us from severe cases of COVID-19. And that’s only if the US and the rest of the world find effective ways to scale up production and produce hundreds of millions of doses.
And then there’s the issue of public trust in a vaccine. If you think the anti-vaxxer movement had gas in the tank before, imagine what happens in the midst of a public, global vaccination campaign. Suffice to say, there’s already a significant group…