A quick turnaround of a COVID-19 vaccine may not be the ‘silver bullet’ everyone is hoping for to end the pandemic.
Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, says it remains unclear how effective a vaccine will be. She anticipates physical distancing and facemask use will continue for two to three years.
“We’re going to have to manage this pandemic certainly over the next year, but certainly [we are] planning for the longer term of the next two to three years during which the vaccine may play a role but we don’t know yet,” Tam says.
Questions remain about the degree and duration of immunity a vaccine will provide, the dosage needed and whether it will prevent people from getting infected altogether or simply prevent severe illness requiring hospitalization.
More than 166 vaccines are at various stages of preclinical and clinical (human) testing across the world.