OTTAWA — Canada’s top public health doctors warned Tuesday that vaccines in development for COVID-19 provide hope but will not mean an immediate end to the pandemic.
Dr. Theresa Tam says the Public Health Agency of Canada is planning to be responding to the pandemic for at least one and more likely two or three more years.
There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world, and in the best-case scenario, one or two might be approved for widespread use by the end of the year.
But infectious-disease and pandemic experts say it will take some time after a vaccine is approved to produce, distribute and administer billions of doses.
Dr. Srinivas Murthy, a critical care specialist and pandemic researcher at the University of British Columbia, says the world has never attempted a vaccine program at this speed or scale before.
Tam says the vaccine work is only one component of the pandemic response and that people must remain focused on strong public health measures to control the outbreak, including physical distancing and hand-washing.