Public health expert: 50 percent effective coronavirus vaccine would be 'better than what we have now'

Public health expert: 50 percent effective coronavirus vaccine would be 'better than what we have now'
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The director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on Sunday addressed the possibility of a 50 percent effective coronavirus vaccine, saying it would be “better than what we have.”

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,”  Tom Inglesby discussed comments by Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: CDC reverses controversial testing guidance | Billions more could be needed for vaccine distribution | Study examines danger of in-flight COVID-19 transmission Trump claims enough COVID-19 vaccines will be ready for every American by April Gates says travel ban made COVID-19 worse in US MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, who said that an initial coronavirus vaccine could only be effective for half the population.

“I think we would take 50 percent because 50 percent would be a lot better than what we have now,” Inglesby told NBC’s Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddSunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response Strzok: 'I continue to believe that Donald Trump is compromised by the Russians' GOP chair defends Trump messaging on masks: 'To say that he should have known then what we know now isn't really fair' MORE.

“We’ll have to see what we get, for the amount of time that has passed … to have a vaccine that’s 50 percent effective in the coming months or the beginning of 2021 would be phenomenal," he added, stressing that a 50 percent effective vaccine would not be ideal.

Inglesby also addressed calls for the reimposition of lockdown measures as cases of the virus surged.

“I don’t think we’re doomed, I think we know what to do, other countries have done it,” he said. “We know that in other countries, universal masking, physical distancing, avoiding larger gatherings, those kinds of things have worked. If we act together in national unison we can get there.”

“Masks are not by themselves the solution but they are a critical part of it,” he added.

Testing capacity, he said, remains a major obstacle. Inglesby called week-long turnaround times for diagnostic test results “unacceptable,” adding “it’s not useful at that point.”

His comments come as the U.S. surpassed 5 million coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data, and 162,000 related deaths.