Fiona Godlee says “Few can doubt that we need a vaccine for covid-19 as soon as possible…

Why do we need a vaccine?

The vast majority of people are still vulnerable to coronavirus. It’s only the current restrictions that are preventing more people from dying.

A vaccine would teach our bodies to fight the infection by stopping us from catching coronavirus, or at least making Covid less deadly.

Having a vaccine, alongside better treatments, is “the” exit strategy.

Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine

  • The big breakthrough came when Pfizer/BioNTech published its first results in November.
  • They showed the vaccine is up to 95% effective
  • The UK is due to get 40 million doses
  • It is given in two doses, three weeks apart
  • About 43,000 people have had the vaccine, with no safety concerns
  • The vaccine must be stored at a temperature of around -70C. It will be transported in a special box, packed in dry ice and installed with GPS trackers.

What still needs to be done?

Trials must show vaccines are safe
Huge-scale development must happen for the billions of potential doses
Regulators must approve the vaccine before it can be given
Researchers still need to find out how long any protection may last
It is thought that 60-70% of the global population must be immune to stop the virus spreading easily (herd immunity) – billions of people, even if the vaccine works perfectly.
Article by Mohammed Khalid , Debt Collector, Babylon Medical Services LLC

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