Wearing masks and social distancing are the “best weapon” to prevent the spread of the coronavirus – says Stephane Bancel. He is the managing director of the pharmaceutical company Moderna. One of the companies that is currently working on a vaccine against the coronavirus.
The vaccine is not a silver bullet
At the Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum, Bancel pointed out the guidelines of the health authorities to be followed. Sure, a vaccine is important, but things like wearing a mask and social distancing are still your best defense against the virus, he said. Because “the vaccine is not a silver bullet,” Bancel made it clear. “There are still people gathering or going to restaurants in closed rooms where nobody is wearing a mask. I do not get it. It just doesn’t make sense. This is how you get infected. The only question is when. ”
The pharmaceutical company Moderna recently announced that its vaccine was 94.5 percent effective against transmission of the virus. This emerges from the late-phase study with around 30,000 test subjects. Although the results of the study have not yet been published in a specialist journal, this news was extremely encouraging in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The European Medicines Agency EMA is currently reviewing the approval of Moderna’s vaccine. That could take a few more weeks. But even after approval, there will be other challenges – such as the transport and special storage of the vaccine. The question of which population groups can be vaccinated first has also not yet been decided.
The measures of the health authorities reduce further spread
In the USA and Europe, the number of corona infections and Covid-19-related hospital stays have been very high again for a few weeks. Health experts therefore make it clear how important it is to wear a mask and to greatly reduce contacts outside of your own household. Since it is unclear to what extent people will actually be immune to the virus, wearing masks and social distancing are extremely important, even with the vaccine, says American health expert and doctor Anthony Fauci.
Wu Zunyou, an epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum that people should still wear masks and avoid crowds while the vaccine is not yet available. “Wear a mask, wash your hands, ventilate and stick to social distancing. All of these health department actions are still the most effective in controlling the epidemic, ”he said. Wu added that the vaccine “will be a good weapon to control the epidemic,” but not until spring at the earliest.
This text was translated from English and edited by Siw Inken Forke. You can find the original here.