According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious diseases expert and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, people may have to wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines till 2022.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not going away anytime soon. Even the development and availability of an effective vaccine may not mean that we can let our guard down in the near future.
Dr Fauci recently said during a virtual meeting with doctors and students at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia that, “It’s not going to be the way it was with polio and measles, where you get a vaccine, case closed, it’s done.” “It’s going to be public health measures that linger for months and months.”
Only 70 Per Cent Efficacy Expected From Authorized Vaccine
People across the world are hoping to get a COVID-19 vaccine after months of being isolated inside their homes because of the insistence of the viral disease. Even many see this as a way of returning to normal lives and activities.
However, Dr Fauci, and many other experts also agree with this, and has warned that, once coronavirus vaccines are approved and distributed widely to the public, won’t be a “knockout punch” that eradicates the virus.
Therefore the entire process of vaccinating the public will probably some time and there may be just a 70 per cent effectiveness rate for an approved vaccine. Public precautions like face masks and social distancing are need to be continued during the distribution process.
Safety Precautions Are A Must Even After Vaccination
Meanwhile, an emergency grant is expected to be given to the FDA for the use authorization to at least one of the COVID-19 vaccine candidates when once there is enough data about its safety and effectiveness.
By the first quarter of 2021, full approval for a vaccine and mass distribution is likely to start.
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Herd Immunity Possible Only Through Vaccination
Dr. Fauci mentions that the best way to achieve herd immunity is through a vaccine. It is likely that many more people will catch the infection without a vaccine, and are most likely, die from it.
He also warns that a ‘profound degree’ of herd immunity is not likely to happen until the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022. The COVID-19 virus is persistent and not likely to disappear sooner. Public health measures like wearing face masks and social distancing will have to continue till then and after.
According to Dr. Fauci, focused protection is not a solution. Focused protection is not an approach that looks at achieving herd immunity by protecting the elderly and high-risk groups.
Well, it is true that older adults are more likely to develop severe complications and die of this viral disease. But it is also a fact that more and more young people with no underlying health conditions are falling prey to the disease. Moreover, scientists are still trying to figure out why almost 40 per cent of people are susceptible to severe forms of the disease.