Coronavirus vaccine will not be 100 per cent effective - Expert warns

One of the world’s foremost coronavirus experts has warned any vaccine scientists manage to develop is unlikely to be 100 per cent effective.

US President Donald Trump has been hyping up the possibility of a pandemic-ending coronavirus vaccine being available before the end of this year, but experts are not quite as optimistic.

Dr Anthony Fauci, America’s top expert on infectious diseases, has warned that any vaccine scientists come up with is unlikely to be effective for everyone.

The chances of it being 98 per cent effective is not great, which means you must never abandon the public health approach, Dr Fauci said during a Q&A with the Brown University School of Public Health on Friday, according to CNBC.
You’ve got to think of the vaccine as a tool to be able to get the pandemic to no longer be a pandemic, but to be something that’s well controlled.

He said a vaccine that is 50-60 per cent effective would be acceptable, though scientists are hoping for something better.

America’s Food and Drug Administration has said it would authorise a coronavirus vaccine so long as it is safe and at least 50 per cent effective – which is roughly on par with the efficacy of current influenza vaccines.

Dr Fauci said he was “cautiously optimistic” of success and that “somewhere towards the end of the year, the beginning of 2021”, we will know whether they have a safe and effective vaccine. Picture: Al Drago/AFP.
Dr Fauci said he was “cautiously optimistic” of success and that “somewhere towards the end of the year, the beginning of 2021”, we will know whether they have a safe and effective vaccine. Picture: Al Drago/AFP.Source:AFP
Dr Fauci has previously said he worries about the “durability” of a coronavirus vaccine, saying if COVID-19 acts like other coronaviruses, it may not provide long-term protection.

He remains “cautiously optimistic” of success, and says that “somewhere towards the end of the year, the beginning of 2021, we will know whether they have a safe and effective vaccine”.

The Trump administration is pouring federal funds into vaccine development, seen as the only way to stop the virus and end the mass shutdowns and social distancing that have crippled economies around the world.

Despite Dr Fauci’s sobering commentary, President Donald Trump is still insisting vaccine development will be a sure success.

Dr Fauci’s latest comments came a day after the World Health Organisation once again cautioned that there might never be a “silver bullet” for the virus.

A number of vaccines are now in phase three clinical trials and we all hope to have a number of effective vaccines that can help prevent people from infection, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual news briefing in Geneva.

There are concerns that we may not have a vaccine that may work, or its protection could be for just a few months, not more. But until we finish the clinical trials, we will not know.

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