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Even if COVID-19 vaccine rolls out by spring, masks could be necessary into 2022

The timeline by which a COVID-19 vaccine is distributed has been debated and discussed at length in all sorts of settings.

Last week President Donald Trump said that New York would not receive the vaccine until the state waived its vetting process for it. His concern is giving the vaccine to state’s that aren’t going to immediately distribute it.

Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed back — noting that there were more than a dozen states with similar ‘vetting’ plans, which he also contends would occur simultaneously to final FDA approval.

His take: The state’s vetting process won’t add any time to distribution.

Pfizer’s vaccine has been found to be approximately 90% effective. While Moderna’s was determined to be 94% effective. Those numbers blew expectations out of the water, and while more testing is required before a vaccine can be distributed — it’s a step in the right direction.

However, even if vaccines are here by the spring — the mask you’ve grown accustomed to wearing will probably have to stick around longer.

Medical professionals like Dr. Ellen Duffy, an immunologist who spoke with Spectrum News this week, said health care professionals will be limited by what’s available to them.

“You’re going to be limited by what your health care provider is going to have access to,” Duffy explained. “I think it’s going to be whichever one your doctor happens to have is what you’re going to get.”

She added that there isn’t anything ‘dangerous’ about the vaccine, noting that the testing is rigorous.

Here’s her math on when ‘normal’ returns, if 80% of the population has taken the vaccine by summer 2021: High risk activities — like attending a concern — might not be able to happen until summer 2022.