Novel Coronavirus is spreading around the world, but there are still no vaccines to protect the body against the disease it causes, Covid-19.
Why COVID-19 vaccine?
The coronavirus virus spreads easily and the majority of the world’s population is still vulnerable to it. A vaccine would provide some protection by training people’s immune systems to fight the virus so they should not become sick.
This would allow lockdowns to be lifted more safely, and social distancing to be relaxed.
Having a vaccine is another way to bring down the reproduction number.
A coronavirus patient would naturally infect three others on average, but if a vaccine could protect two of them from infection then the reproduction number would fall from three to one.
Medical Researchers on COVID-19 Vaccine
Medical researchers are working hard in order to get a clinically tested and approved vaccine.
Research is happening at breakneck speed. About 80 groups around the world are researching vaccines and some are now entering clinical trials.
How many people need to be vaccinated?
It is hard to know without knowing how effective the vaccine is going to be.
It is thought that 60-70% of people needed to be immune to the virus in order to stop it spreading easily (known as herd immunity).
But that would be billions of people around the world if the vaccine worked perfectly.