Moderna Inc, Pfizer, AstraZeneca-Oxford, Sputnik V, there are too many COVID-19 vaccines, but how will we know which one is the right one? Are they effective enough? Will these vaccines cater to all people, will it be enough? When will we get back to our normal life? The coronavirus cases worldwide and in India continues to rage on, people are just eying their hope on the COVID-19 vaccine so that they can get back to their ‘normal’ life. Also Read - Can an Individual Get Two Different Doses of Coronavirus Vaccine?
Currently, there are 321 vaccine projects ongoing around the world. Out of which, 40 are tested on humans and more than a dozen are in their phase three efficacy trials. Dr. Gagandeep Kang, microbiologist, and professor at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, in an interview with Indian Express, said that vaccines that are being evaluated are safe and immunogenic but that does not guarantee prevention from the disease. Dr. Kang also shed light that we have dozen-plus candidates that are in phase three currently. She said that we might get several successful candidates but the question is how effective will they be. Also Read - Bolsonaro Likens COVID-19 Vaccine to 'Sanjeevani Booti', Thanks PM Modi After Consignment of Covishield Arrives in Brazil
So, on what level of efficacy would we need in a vaccine to eliminate the need for social distancing and masks? Dr. Kang said that we need a perfect vaccine and we need to vaccinate everybody in the world. She also said that there is no vaccine in the world which is 100 percent efficacious. “Some of the best vaccines we have, like measles, are 90 percent plus. The malaria vaccine has only about 30 percent efficacy. So while we would all like a perfect vaccine, sometimes we have to work with vaccines that are less than perfect. And the 50 percent efficacy is actually not too bad for a respiratory virus,” she told the publication. Also Read - 'Some Evidence' That New UK Coronavirus Strain More Deadly & Transmissible, Warns Boris Johnson
Will we ever get back to normal life again? Shaking hands, living a mask-free life, and lead a life without fearing social distancing? As per the doctors, it can take a long time before we can meet people without masks until we have something which can be effective enough and something that can act as a readout to know whether a person is protected or not. Dr Kang said that it is called a correlate of protection.