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The development of a coronavirus vaccine won’t end this pandemic overnight. Instead, it’ll merely mark “the beginning of the end.”
Sarah Zhang, our staff writer covering health and science, offers a much-needed reality check in her latest—and her piece is worth reading in full. Here are three things to expect, as explained by Sarah:
1. A vaccine won’t make life go back to normal instantly.
A vaccine, when it is available, will mark only the beginning of a long, slow ramp down. And how long that ramp down takes will depend on the efficacy of a vaccine, the success in delivering hundreds of millions of doses, and the willingness of people to get it at all.
2. The rollout of a treatment would likely be complex …
Logistically, manufacturers will have to make hundreds of millions of doses while relying, perhaps, on technology never before used in vaccines and competing for basic supplies such as glass vials. Then the federal government will have to allocate doses, perhaps through a patchwork of state and local health departments with no existing infrastructure for vaccinating adults at scale.
3. … and political.
If the pandemic so far is any indication, a vaccination program is likely to take place against a backdrop of partisanship and misinformation.
While you wait in vaccine purgatory, here’s something practical to think about: