12 Nov A COVID vaccine looks increasingly close, but let’s not get carried away
Good news! Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has developed a COVID-19 vaccine that’s 90% effective.
While not yet finalised, this is a huge step forward for the world’s biggest health crisis in a generation.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has delivered the news the world has been waiting for, with successful trials of a Covid vaccine. Australia already has a deal for $10 million doses, but there are big obstacles to overcome. https://t.co/VZ3A1cpmr5 @ChrisReason7 #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/nSrzSJGps8
— 7NEWS Brisbane (@7NewsBrisbane) November 10, 2020
Unsurprisingly, stock markets around the world surged at this news, as it opens a door to a potential return to pre-2020 normality.
We should all be excited about this. If the rest of the trial succeeds and we end up with a safe, effective vaccine, it will be a boon for industries like tourism, trade and commerce.
Given there has never been an effective vaccine for any type of coronavirus before, this really is the Mt Everest of medical challenges right now. Never has so much been riding on a single product to change the world as we know it.
However, we can’t fall into the trap of thinking that because Pfizer seems so close, we’re only weeks away from going back to the way things were before.
Even if the vaccine were perfected tomorrow, it would take months, if not years to be distributed effectively.
That means social distancing, capacity limits and travel restrictions are here to stay.
It will also take a very long time to bring the virus down to a manageable level around the world.
While Australia is in a tremendous position, with barely a handful of new cases every day, major powers like the United States and Great Britain are quickly slipping further out of control, with new cases now in the tens of thousands every day.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) November 11, 2020
While there isn’t much we can do about the situation overseas, it does underline a few things for us.
We are incredibly lucky to be in Australia. Despite the recent outbreak in Victoria, the nation’s record on COVID is to be commended. That we can go out to restaurants, watch footy or cricket in a stadium and hang out at the beach for a day is something we should all cherish.
We’ve accomplished this by listening to expert advice and following the rules. As exhausting as it’s been to come this far, we’ll have to keep doing that for a while longer.
It’s also important for employees and businesses alike not to get carried away with this encouraging news. The world’s greatest epidemiologists have spent the best part of a year trying to figure out this bizarre virus and they still don’t know everything about it. That means progress will continue to take time.
Therefore, it would be unwise to make decisions based on unfounded expectations. For the time being, we can’t assume the country is about to open up like before.
We still need to be conservative in our short-term outlook because we really don’t know what’s around the corner. We should be well accustomed to living life in the COVID era by now, so let’s stick it out for a bit longer.