by Raywat Deonandan, PhD
Epidemiologist & Associate Professor
University of Ottawa
(I add my credentials to these COVID-19 blog posts in case they get shared. I want readers to know that my opinion is supposedly an educated and informed one)
Now that we have several vaccines against COVID-19, I keep getting the same four questions: (a) Which one should I get? (b) Are they safe? (c) Will we have to do this every year? And (d) Does this mean we can get rid of COVID-19 once and for all?
Today I’m only going to try to answer the last question. Both the Pfizer and Moderna jabs are thought to be 94-95% effective. That’s an extraordinarily high number, especially given that the seasonal flu jab usually is about 40% effective, and we would have been very content with a COVID vaccine of 50-60% effectiveness.
The Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines also have high efficacy scores, as well. But right now we have more experience with the mRNA vaccines in Canada.
(If you’re curious, I’ve attempted to explain much of the vaccine science in an earlier post, and I recruited virologist Dr Erling Rud to answer vaccine questions in an earlier podcast.)
This high effectiveness has got some people asking…. well, can we now wipe this disease off the face of the Earth? So today I want to briefly talk about disease eradication and why it’s so hard. (more…)