Will Vaccine be the Panacea for COVID-19?

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As the panic caused by the variant of COVID-19 is spreading to the world originating from Britain, it is right to take it seriously as the variant of COVID-19 making the pandemic harder to control.


The strain is said to be up to 70% more transmissible than the previously dominant strain in the UK,  though there’s no evidence that vaccines currently being deployed in the UK - made by Pfizer and BioNtech - or other COVID-19 shots in development will not protect against this variant so far. However, the risk of spreading the virus is still existing considering the minor percentage of ineffectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.  Medical professionals all around the world still believe that testing will remain “a must and necessary” method handling the COVID-19.


“Testing will remain fundamental in the coming months, even as we aim to start rolling out our vaccines in the EU from 27 December. We need to scale up testing capacity in parallel to keep the virus under control.” added Kyriakides, European Commission (EC) commissioner for health and food safety in a recent public announcement.


Authorized/approved vaccines Updated by 21 December, 2020

CREDIT: Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society



We may have confidence that there will be significantly lower risk of COVID-19 associated with international travel when people are vaccinated before boarding a flight.


However, as it is publicly established most efficacy of the vaccine is around 95%, which means the remaining 5% of people who’ve been vaccinated are still in high risk of being infected with the virus and unconsciously spreading the SARS-CoV-2 to others by guarding down too soon.


The vaccine may protect people from getting sick and developing symptoms when they catch the virus. Nevertheless, we cannot tell whether people who’ve been vaccinated will not be infected with the virus and even further become infectious - they may still spread the virus unexpectedly.


What’s more, nobody could tell how long the immunity will last after injection of vaccine. We have no idea if we will get infected when we are exposed to the infection risk, and the worse is that we don’t know if we are infectious.


As vaccination cannot guarantee a passenger from not being infected nor being infectious, many countries now require a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before travelling. Some airlines such as Emirates and Etihad are mandating COVID-19 testing before boarding.



  1. Adrian Esterman, Professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of South Australia, A vaccine will be a game-changer for international travel. But it’s not everythinghttps://theconversation.com/a-vaccine-will-be-a-game-changer-for-international-travel-but-its-not-everything-151214
  2. Jeff CravenCOVID-19 vaccine trackerhttps://www.raps.org/news-and-articles/news-articles/2020/3/covid-19-vaccine-tracker





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