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Here's why a vaccine will not stop the Covid-19 pandemic right away

September 15, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Experts say even if a coronavirus vaccine was approved in January or even earlier, it will be many months before it has an effect on the pandemic.

And while vaccine manufacturers, public health experts and the federal government are all confident one or more of the coronavirus vaccines being tested now will be shown to work safely by the end of the year, the US and the world will still be a long way from ending the pandemic.

"People can't be lulled into a false sense of security by knowing the vaccine is coming," Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers, told CNN.

Although manufacturers are already making vaccine doses, it takes time.

"It won't be until we get into 2021 that you'll have hundreds of millions of doses, and just the logistics constraints in vaccinating large numbers of people -- it's going to take months to get enough people vaccinated to have an umbrella of immunity over the community. "

The US just is not ready for a mass vaccination campaign like the one needed to bring coronavirus under control, public health experts agreed.

Only about half of Americans get a flu vaccine, and manufacturers make and distribute fewer than 150 million doses of it.

Yet it takes a full year from start to finish to formulate, make and distribute flu vaccines every influenza season.

"We have to make sure that we give the person the same vaccine for their second dose that they got for their first dose," Chan said.

Plus, the coronavirus vaccine or vaccines will still be experimental, so every person who gets one will need to be tracked to make sure there are no adverse reactions.

Otherwise, there is a risk of some degradation and the vaccine possibly becoming less effective," Chan said.

This can be a challenge, said Dr. Carlos del Rio, a vaccine expert at Emory University.

Plescia said Pfizer has a plan to help keep its vaccine cold.

"Pfizer is going to have special boxes they ship the vaccines in, packed with dry ice," he said.

But it's not clear, Plescia said, if the boxes could be opened and a few doses of vaccine taken out safely.

"With mass vaccination clinics, it involves bringing large groups of people into a site and vaccinating as many people as possible," Chan said.

"We need mass vaccination clinics and sites.

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