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Harvard doctor “very optimistic” that the vaccine will come in early 2021, but may not be fully effective

Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, predicted that a coronavirus vaccine is likely to be available in early 2021, but warned that it may not be 100 percent effective.

Jha told Fox News Sunday that he was encouraged by developments in vaccine manufacturing in the United States, Europe, and China, and said that even if a vaccine is made available, he may not be able to fully immunize people against COVID-19.


“Vaccines, I am very optimistic that we will have one in early 2021

. The challenge here,” said Jha, “is that there are more than seven billion people in the world. And there will be a race for vaccinations.” Everyone, we’re going to need billions of cans. “

He continued, “And I’m very worried about supply chains, enough vials and syringes, and all that stuff.”

Jha said that due to high demand, it may take spring or summer for everyone to be vaccinated in the United States.

Jha has also been encouraged by the number of possible vaccines in development as more than a dozen clinical trials are currently underway. He said he expects China to be the first country in the fall, but that there will likely be several vaccines that work.

At the same time, Jha noted that a COVID-19 vaccine may not be the type of shot that prevents people from ever developing the disease and that it may not last forever. He also said that this is not necessarily a problem.

“I hope we have a vaccine that will at least keep you from getting the virus,” he said. “So you can still get a mild illness, but you don’t get very sick. It could also be the type of vaccine that you need to get one every year. But that’s fine, I get a flu shot every year. If I have to get a COVID injection every year, that’s fine. “


Regarding the treatment of patients who already have COVID-19, Jha was less optimistic that there will be a drug that people can easily take to relieve the symptoms. While there are certain medications that have been successful in very sick patients, he doesn’t assume that there is a pill that people can take to get better.

“I would like to be wrong,” he said, “but the history of antiviral therapy is not a glorious one. We just couldn’t develop oral drugs that worked great.”

Jha also mentioned the increasing number of cases across the country. He blamed this in part for the fact that some states were reopened too early and did not follow the federal guidelines for a gradual reopening process, as well as “mixed news about masks and social distancing”.

The doctor said he was concerned about the scene of people without a mask attending President Trump’s speech on the mountain. Rushmore over the holiday weekend where social distancing was not practiced.

“These are just risky things,” said Jha of such gatherings, adding that President Trump should “stick to science” to get people to take precautions. He noted that “outside is better than inside, so I was glad to see that.”


Jha said the country is currently facing a “dangerous moment” and some states must be “very aggressive” in the fight against spikes. He said that the return to “shelter in place” practices “should be absolutely the last thing you want to achieve,” but said that if the virus is not under, it will be “very difficult to keep schools open” Control is.

While the number of cases has increased, the deaths have not followed the same trends. Jha said there could be several reasons for this.

Death statistics often lag behind the number of cases, as it takes some time for people to get sick and die from the disease. At the same time, he found that doctors can treat people better, so that while some patients are still quite sick, they will ultimately survive. It has also been reported that many of the new cases are younger people who do not usually get so sick.

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