When it comes to the coronavirus vaccine, there's good news and there's bad news.
The good news is that there will eventually be a vaccine. The bad news is that it is likely to be only 50% effective, according to NPR.
Chief of the National Institute of Health and Infectious Disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has cooled enthusiasm regarding the prospect of vaccines doing away with coronavirus once and for all: "We don't know if it will be 50% or 60%," he said, although he added that personally, "I'd like it to be 75% or more."
50% effectiveness would mean that for every 100 people who are vaccinated, only 50 would become immune to the disease.
And even among those who would develop immunity, some may still experience milder symptoms but be less likely die from the novel coronavirus.
Bill Miller, a physician from The Ohio State University College of Public Health explained the idea behind a 50% effectiveness rate: "It may mean that people are less likely to be hospitalized, require ICU or die."
But not all is bleak, considering the fact that it is likely that large percentage of the population has already developed a certain immunity to the virus or what is called "herd immunity." This means that even with only 50% effectiveness, it might be possible to reduce the number of future infections.
However, in order to make a significant difference, two doses of the vaccination would need to be administered roughly a month apart from each other. This inoculation on a mass scale would require a tremendous effort on behalf of governments.
Now, the last remaining issue is to ensure that those who need to be vaccinated actually follow through with it. In the US for example, roughly a third of the Americans said that they will refuse a vaccine when it is made available.