COVID-19 vaccines unlikely to be cure-all

While vaccines for COVID-19 are urgently needed, the public would do well to realize that vaccines will not simply prevent all infections. It’s more likely that any vaccines developed will reduce the risk for contracting the disease and experiencing severe symptoms, according to a May 22, 2020 STAT article.

Michael Mina, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told STAT that previous research on human coronaviruses indicates that whatever immunity people develop after respiratory tract infections is not lifelong, and may only last for months, not years.

“If [infection with] natural coronaviruses doesn’t do it, I don’t think that we should necessarily expect or have the anticipation that we’ll be able to get there with the vaccine,” Mina said.

Sarah Fortune, John LaPorte Given Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, added said that “it’s a little bit sobering to see that, while we may get protection against disease [and] protect people from getting sick, we may not get nearly as effective protection against transmission.”

Read the STAT article: The world needs Covid-19 vaccines. It may also be overestimating their power