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Opinion: Yes, we need a vaccine to control Covid-19. But we need new treatments, too

Hopes for a relatively quick return to normalcy are riding high on promising news about Covid-19 vaccines. Nearly 200 vaccines are in development worldwide. And with six of them already being tested in Phase 3 clinical trials, the possibility exists that a vaccine could be ready by the end of the year

But we need to be realistic: A vaccine is not a silver bullet. Even if one (or more) is proven safe and effective, vaccines are notoriously difficult to make and distribute. People will continue to contract the virus because some won’t get vaccinated and because the vaccine may not be effective for everyone, particularly older populations at higher risk for illness and death. The annual flu vaccine, for example, reduces the risk for illness by only 40% to 60%, even in years when the vaccine is well matched to the circulating virus strain.

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