By Juli McDonald

BOSTON (CBS) – Experts say some signals of a fall coronavirus vaccine do not represent the finish line.

“We are not done with this pandemic. Unfortunately we have many, many months to go,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of Brown’s School of Public Health.

The CDC is urging governors to prepare distribution sites for a vaccine as soon as November 1 – just two days before the presidential election.

“A lot of people have seen the vaccine as the silver bullet. You get the vaccine and it’s all over. It’s pretty unlikely the vaccine is going to be 95 or 100% effective. It might be 70% which will help; that will be great. But that’s not bringing the pandemic to an end,” said Dr. Jha.

Wednesday night, the state’s Covid-19 Command Center told WBZ-TV it, “is developing plans to ensure an equitable and speedy distribution to Massachusetts communities based on guidance provided by the CDC.’’

(WBZ-TV graphic)

But Phase 3 trials aren’t complete – meaning researchers are still looking at how well the vaccine works and if it’s safe. When a vaccine is available, there won’t be enough for everyone at first. Priority will be given to health care workers and the most at-risk. Jha says masks, social distancing, and good hand hygiene will remain important health measures.

Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of Brown’s School of Public Health (WBZ-TV)

“This is not going to be a normal Thanksgiving. I don’t think it’s going to be anything near a normal Christmas holiday season. It’s going to be well into 2021 before vaccines are widely available and being given to people,” he added.

Juli McDonald

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