By Bill Shields

BOSTON (CBS) – The coronavirus vaccine vials represent the light at the end of the tunnel.

Effective vaccines are here, but not yet in large quantities. Supplies are being rationed to the states. But President-elect Joe Biden says he’ll release all of it, which is unlike the Trump policy of holding back the stockpile for the second dose.

“My hope would be what the Biden administration is considering is releasing vaccines in anticipation that manufacturing will keep up, and that we’ll be able to give the second dose,” said Dr. Helen Boucher of Tufts Medical Center.

The vaccines we have now require two doses to be effective. But research shows one dose offers some protection. So the question becomes this: do we vaccinate a small number of people effectively, or a large number with less effectiveness?

“The scientific evidence right now is people are protected by two doses. I think we should try and get people two doses the fastest way possible. If we can speed up the process by getting the doses out, so the states have lots of vaccines so they can do it well, I think that would be great,” said Dr. Richard Ellison of UMass Memorial Health Center.

So now doctors are wondering just how fast the vaccines can be produced.

“Having vaccines available is not the goal, right? It’s vaccinations, vaccinating as many people as we can, as safely and effectively as we can,” said Dr. Boucher.

Right now, there is a lot of research going on about how effective one dose of the vaccine is, or if you give someone a lesser amount of it how effective it would be.

Bill Shields