With At Least 2 Efficacious Vaccines, End Of Pandemic Becomes More Reality But Challenges Remain, Experts Warn

The Atlantic: The End of the Pandemic Is Now in Sight
“…Even as science began to unravel many of the virus’s mysteries — how it spreads, how it tricks its way into cells, how it kills — a fundamental unknown about vaccines hung over the pandemic and our collective human fate: Vaccines can stop many, but not all, viruses. Could they stop this one? The answer, we now know, is yes. A resounding yes. Pfizer and Moderna have separately released preliminary data that suggest their vaccines are both more than 90 percent effective, far more than many scientists expected. … The tasks that lie ahead — manufacturing vaccines at scale, distributing them via a cold or even ultracold chain, and persuading wary Americans to take them — are not trivial, but they are all within the realm of human knowledge. The most tenuous moment is over: The scientific uncertainty at the heart of COVID-19 vaccines is resolved. Vaccines work. And for that, we can breathe a collective sigh of relief…” (Zhang, 11/18).

Reuters: Analysis: Can first COVID-19 vaccines bring herd immunity? Experts have doubts
“Governments and officials are voicing hopes that COVID-19 vaccines could bring ‘herd immunity,’ with some calculating that immunizing just two-thirds of a population could halt the pandemic disease and help protect whole communities or nations. But the concept comes with caveats and big demands of what vaccines might be capable of preventing. Some experts say such expectations are misplaced…” (Kelland et al., 11/18).

Additional coverage of coronavirus vaccine research and distribution is available from BBC News, CNN (2), Homeland Preparedness News, NPR, Reuters, SciDev.Net, and STAT.

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