Producing Covid-19 vaccines in a short amount of time – the coronavirus pandemic is less than one year old – is one of the greatest medical achievements in history. With cases and deaths due to the virus continuing to rise, this winter will be challenging. A vaccine(s) coming to market soon is our best hope to defeat Covid-19.
Dr. James Hildreth, a renowned immunologist, President of the Meharry Medical College and ongoing CYInterview guest joined us recently, to inform us about where we stand in terms of Covid-19 vaccines. He has an exceptional educational and research background, with degrees from Harvard, Oxford and the John Hopkins School of Medicine and is one of the world’s foremost researchers on HIV/AIDS. Dr. Hildreth is now on the FDA committee reviewing Covid-19 vaccines for approval.
There are currently several vaccines garnering attention. Giving us an update on where one of those vaccines, developed by Pfizer, stands, Dr. Hildreth told us this:
“I’m on the FDA committee that reviews the vaccines for approval. And the meeting for the Pfizer vaccine has been set for December 10th just a couple of weeks away. … Will make a recommendation to the commissioner and it’s entirely possible that the Pfizer vaccine may well be on its way to the public with emergency use authorization.”
On how many Americans need to get the vaccine before we can return to a pre-pandemic way of living, Dr. Hildreth shared this:
“Here in the United States, that means 200 million people plus need to be vaccinated before we feel comfortable that herd immunity’s been achieved and we can go back to our pre-Covid activities.”
Though there is much to look forward to, with a vaccine(s) hopefully coming soon, Dr. Hildreth believes we must continue to take appropriate precautions in the face of this pandemic:
“So, the high level of this virus circulating, the fact that this virus is truly airborne and the fact that it can be transmitted asymptomatically are all the reasons why we still must maintain those mitigation steps that we’ve all been hearing about these last several months: masks, handwashing, avoiding crowds and keeping our distance.”
Featured columnist Jay Bildstein hosts this CYInterview with Dr. Hildreth. Jay and the good doctor get into detail about the different vaccines that have been developed for Covid-19, how they will be administered and what the process has been like to get to this point in time.
You can listen to this important CYInterview below:
Listen to the entire Dr. James Hildreth CYInterview: