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Stories and information in our region on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yale Study: Vaccine Won't End Virus On Its Own

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Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Both Pfizer and Moderna say their COVID-19 vaccines are more than 90 percent effective. But a new study from the Yale School of Public Health says it’ll take more than a vaccine alone to end the virus.

Officials say a vaccine could start to be given to some vulnerable groups as soon as the end of the year. Jason Schwartz is with the Yale School of Public Health.

“We may not be at the beginning of the end, but we’re at the end of the beginning, as Winston Churchill said,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz and his team looked at other factors that’ll have to fall into place for the vaccine to be successful. He said manufacturing and delivering the vaccine will be as big a challenge as developing it.

“To get these vaccines produced at tens and hundreds of millions of doses, to deliver it to states, for states to allocate those vaccines to their communities, and to create the program to actually get it into people’s arms,” he said.

Schwartz said officials also need to educate the public about the vaccines’ importance and address skepticism about their safety.

“We know that there are chronic anxieties and fears about vaccines, and we know that there are specific concerns about this vaccine. Perhaps fears about how quickly it was developed or that corners were cut.”

Schwartz says officials can help by assuring people they’re confident in the vaccine -- and they’ll be monitoring its safety after it’s been administered. And even after a vaccine is available, he says we’ll still have to wear masks and social distance for some time.