Top docs don’t prescribe to silver-bullet vaccine scenario
OTTAWA — Canada’s top public health doctors warned Tuesday that vaccines in development for COVID-19 provide hope, but will not mean an immediate end to the pandemic.
Dr. Theresa Tam said the Public Health Agency of Canada plans to respond to the pandemic for at least one more year and more likely two or three more years.
There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID19 in clinical trials around the world and in the bestcase scenario, one or two might be approved for widespread use by the end of the year.
But infectious disease and pandemic experts said it will take some time after a vaccine is approved to produce, distribute and administer billions of doses.
Dr. Srinivas Murthy, a critical care specialist and pandemic researcher at the University of British Columbia, said the world has never attempted a vaccine program at this speed or scale before.
Tam said the vaccine work is only one component of the pandemic response and that people must remain focused on strong public health measures to control the outbreak, including physical distancing and handwashing.
Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam speaks to the media Tuesday in Ottawa. — THE CANADIAN PRESS
Officials expect to respond to the pandemic for several years, even with vaccine trials underway.