This paper focuses on How effective is the coronavirus vaccine.
How effective is the coronavirus vaccine
A Dose of Realism on a COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy
For those holding on to hope of an imminent COVID-19 vaccine, news this weekend that the first could be rolled-out as early as ‘just after Christmas’ will have likely lifted spirits.
UK deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam reportedly told MPs a vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca could be ready for deployment in January, while Sir Jeremy Farrar, Sage scientific advisory group member and a director of the Wellcome Trust, has said at least one of a portfolio of UK vaccines could be ready by spring.
Much has been written and said about how the world will return to normal when a vaccine is widely available. But that really won’t be true. It is important that we are realistic about what vaccines can and can’t do.
Vaccines protect individuals against disease and hopefully also against infection, but no vaccine is 100% effective.
To know what proportion of a community would be immune after a vaccination programme is a numbers game – we must multiply the proportion of a population vaccinated by how effective the vaccine is.
The UK currently has amongst the highest national coverage of flu vaccine in the world. Vaccinating around 75 per cent of the over 65s against flu every year; most countries either do worse or have no vaccination programmes for older people. It is also reasonable to expect that this level of coverage could be achieved for COVID-19 vaccine in that age group in the UK.
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