7 key uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine race


The race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine will most likely bring about the most rapidly developed vaccine in history, but uncertainties still abound when it comes to a potential vaccine’s effectiveness, safety and ability to be administered to the world’s population.

STAT compiled a list of seven key quandaries that scientists, drugmakers and government officials have struggled to conclusively address. They are:

  1. Vaccination of special populations with little or no data on how the vaccine affects them.
  2. Definition of high-risk healthcare workers and essential workers.
  3. Process for those who need to prove they have a high-risk medical condition to gain earlier vaccine access.
  4. Ability to transport vaccines rapidly with slowed air travel.
  5. Wide use of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine, which must be stored at -94 degrees.
  6. Pfizer and BioNTech’s ordering system, which stipulates 975 doses as the lowest possible order.
  7. Ability to keep vaccines safe from theft and counterfeits.

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