COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t mean quick return to normal, experts say


Getting back to normal as quickly and as safely as possible is the plan, but right now, three out of the four COVID-19 vaccine trials are on temporary holds due to safety concerns.

However, Pfizer said it could be ready by November, but experts say a vaccine doesn’t mean things will go back to normal right away.

The vaccine trials by Johnson and Johnson, Eli Lilly and Astra-Zeneca are all paused, and yet, “There is hope that by the end of this year we may have a vaccine. There is hope,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization.

Fueling some of that hope is Pfizer’s claim that it could apply for emergency use authorization (EUA) for its vaccine as early as November.

Researchers call that timeline optimistic.

“I would be very surprised if they were ready for an EUA by November,” said Dr. Bindu Mayi, professor of microbiology at NSU’s College of Medical Sciences.

“If you read the scientific papers, a reasonable timeline for that seems to be early next year.”

“They’ll often be a whole year off in terms of when they put a timeline up and they say, ‘Oh, we’re going to have this new test. It’s going to be FDA approved in six months.’ It’s usually not for another 18 months, for example,” said Dr. Michael Mina, epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Even when the drugmakers come out with a vaccine, don’t expect life to return to normal immediately.

“For months and months and months into 2021 or even beyond – we may not be able to, in every section of the country, have uninhibited theaters that are just completely packed, sports events where the spectators are crowded,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official.

The Trump administration said it may have up to 100 million doses of the vaccine available by the end of the year. Also, the White House is partnering with Walgreens and CVS to provide vaccines to long-term care facilities at no charge.

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