The Pfizer announcement has renewed hope that the new normal will soon be lifted. Meanwhile, Oxford University says its own vaccine might be ready before the end of the year. What will this mean for 2021? Can we go back to our lives before the pandemic, or are masks and social distancing here to stay?
A vaccine will not erase the changes to our daily livesShow moreShow less
A COVID-19 vaccine will certainly help us rebuild our economy and autonomy. But some of the changes we've seen this year may be permanent.
Scientists are urging people not to treat a COVID-19 vaccine as “a silver bullet” to end the pandemic and return life to normal.
Kate Bingham, the Chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, has issued warnings on this matter. She says the aim of the vaccine is to protect people from infection but that it was unlikely this would be effective for everyone.
Furthermore, many researchers suggest we may see different strains of COVID-19 over the years. It is very unlikely that one vaccine will be enough. Bingham believes it is more probable that we will need regular revaccination to combat the virus.
Studies looking into the mutations found in COVID-19 have so far found little evidence of mutation. Despite this, the increasing cases in many countries leave this to chance and scientists warn that each new case is a dice roll.
A vaccine will doubtlessly be a good first step. But we all need to do more to ensure a smooth transition out of the pandemic.
The first vaccine will buy us more time to continue to research the virus and its possible mutations. Studies so far have not found a significant level of mutation in its virulence. This doesn’t mean it is impossible. But if this continues to be the case, perhaps one vaccine could be enough to help us overcome this pandemic.