It Looks Like a 50 -60 Percent Effective Vaccine: Thailand Must Be Prepared
Thai Business News
It Looks Like a 50%-60% Effective Vaccine: Thailand Must Be Prepared
Written By - Patra Manas. 04-10-2020.
Top vaccine makers around the world predict a vaccine or vaccines may be available as early as the beginning of 2021 on the upside but on the downside it may be only be 50%-60% effective, 70% if we are lucky, but unlikely.
The World Health Organisation has stipulated that a vaccine having above 50 percent efficacy is acceptable for administration.
What does a 50% effective vaccine mean? It means if you vaccinate 100 people, 50 people will not get the disease.
It is believed though, that the vaccine will reduce the severity of the disease in those that do get infected.
As reported in npr, “ it’s possible that the (Covid-19) vaccine will reduce the severity of disease in the other 50% who do not get sick”, says physician Bill Miller of the Ohio State University College of Public Health. “It may mean that people are less likely to be hospitalized, require ICU care or die.”
Dr Balram Bhargavath, Director-General at the Indian Council of Medical Research has said “100 percent efficacy is not achieved in vaccines for respiratory viruses”, as reported in IAN.
Given the fact that a 100% effective vaccine may be years away or not happen at all, Thai policy makers have a tough decision to make on when Thailand should open its borders as per pre-pandemic times, (without quarantine).
Without a magic bullet in sight,(1) do we take our chances now and reopen or (2) go with the 50% effective vaccine, opening our borders when our population has been vaccinated or (3) wait until the world is a relatively Covid-free place which is going to take years given that only a 50% effective vaccine will be available globally.
In scenario (1) our economy has a higher chance of a quicker rebound but lives will be at risk, scenario (2) economy will rebound, albeit a bit slower, population will be at lower risk of infection or hospitalization and death, if infected and scenario (3) years of a country’s lockdown would probably decimate Thailand’s economy or at least sectors of the economy but with a very healthy population.
In any scenario, the emphasis is back on our medical segment to take the lead, to make sure the Thai public take necessary precautions and stay safe.
It is a tough call but decisions should be taken now by policymakers, given the facts on hand, and publicly made known so that business owners whose businesses are affected by the country’s border lockdown can make coherent plans.