Vaccine Will Take Time to Distribute – Normal Life Won’t Return Overnight

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Researchers believe it is important to stay “realistic” about what life will be like post Covid-19 vaccine.  Dr Fiona Culley, from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London said, “A vaccine offers great hope for potentially ending the pandemic, but we do know that the history of vaccine development is littered with lots of failures.”  There is optimism around the world that we will have a vaccine even by the end of this year, and shortly into next, however it is important to remember that it will be a long process.

Prof Nilay Shah, head of chemical engineering at Imperial College London said, “Even when the vaccine is available it doesn’t mean within a month everybody is going to be vaccinated, we’re talking about six months, nine months… a year. There’s not a question of life suddenly returning to normal in March.”

Many researchers and scientists believe there are still many challenges ahead, specifically with the dispersion of the vaccine.  The stress now is being put on the raw materials needed to produce enough doses of a viable vaccine.  Prof Shah estimates “vaccinating people would have to take place at a pace, 10 times faster than the annual flu campaign and would be a full-time job for up to 30,000 trained staff.”

Prof Charles Bangham, chair of immunology of Imperial College London, said, “We simply don’t know when an effective vaccine will be available, how effective it will be and of course, crucially, how quickly it can be distributed.  Even if it is effective, it is unlikely that we will be able to get back completely to normal, so there’s going to be a sliding scale, even after the introduction of a vaccine that we know to be effective.”

These are all things to consider when thinking about how quickly we are able to return to normal life.  Because the vaccine will take some time to be distributed, don’t expect to be able to get your dose right away.  Dr Andrew Preston from the University of Bath, said: “Clearly the vaccine has been portrayed as a silver bullet and ultimately it will be our salvation, but it may not be an immediate process.”

Be sure to check back with the ABN Blog regularly for updates.

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