Top docs don’t pre­scribe to sil­ver-bul­let vac­cine sce­nario

The Province - - NEWS -

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

— THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Of­fi­cials ex­pect to re­spond to the pan­demic for sev­eral years, even with vac­cine tri­als un­der­way.

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