Scientific experts warn the people may be expecting too much, too soon of a COVID-19 vaccine, and Dr. William Haseltine of Access Health International said current clinical trials are too short and too small to prove a vaccine can help keep people from being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19. Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier said treatments and vaccines are not a “silver bullet" and people will still have to wear masks and social distance well into 2021.
Several companies including Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are in the race to develop Covid-19 vaccine and it is hoped that first vaccine may be available by the end of this year or beginning next year. However, it would take some more time to be easily available to people globally.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has previously told lawmakers that a face mask could provide better protection against Covid-19, even when a vaccine is approved. That’s because a potential vaccine, which will likely be available in limited quantities by the end of this year, may only be 70% effective. Other top health experts, including White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said the likelihood of producing a highly effective Covid-19 vaccine — one that provides 98% or more guaranteed protection — is slim.
Therefore, the WPA encourages patients’ organizations and advocates to continue their campaigns on COVID-19 preventive measures. Hand washing, wearing face masks and social distancing are the best methods to prevent the COVID-19 virus.