Letter: The COVID battle isn’t over yet
(Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine | AP) This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. The German pharmaceutical company BioNTech and its U.S. partner Pfizer say they have submitted an application for conditional approval of their coronavirus vaccine with the European Medicines Agency.
On May 8, 1980, the World Health Organization officially declared that smallpox had been eradicated. This was arguably one of the greatest scientific achievements of humankind.
Since then, a significant number of other infectious diseases are disappearing. Polio, measles, mumps, chicken pox, several flavors of hepatitis, meningitis, pertussis, tetanus, etc., have been eliminated in modern countries. Public health constraints and vaccinations are the two most effectively used weapons to defeat scourges of microbial mayhem.
It appears likely that several COVID-19 vaccines will become available soon. One thing that has not been widely discussed yet is the fact that immunity does not happen the instant you roll up your sleeve after receiving your jab. In fact, immunity does not happen for several weeks, and may require a booster shot three to four weeks after the original jab. This means we will all be under pandemic procedures for several months once the new vaccines are approved for distribution.
Bottom line: Buckle (er, mask) up, get in line for your immunizations as soon as your demographic is eligible, maintain social distancing and follow good public health hygiene practices until further notice. Party Time will come, we just need to be diligent and patient for a few more months.
Wayne Wilson, West Jordan