BOSTON — When it comes to vaccines, everything depends on trust.
“It’s still skeptical so I’m gonna still keep doing what I’m doing, social distancing until there’s consistency behind it,” said Boston resident Will Lature.
Even with Pfizer Inc. announcing that its COVID-19 vaccine may be a remarkable 90% effective, based on early and incomplete test results, some people remain less trusting than others.
“I know maybe three people who have had it and they barely knew they had it so nothing about this virus would ever make me jump on a vaccine train,” said Dedham resident Caitlin.
The announcement built enough trust to send travel stocks higher, but stocks are based on expectations. So we called around to several travel agents and wedding planners to see if they’ve started seeing those gains.
“A honeymoon couple who because of the news of the vaccine started thinking about a November honeymoon,” said Daniel Weiner of Galaxsea Travel, after taking four calls Monday from people planning their vacations. “Not like it used to be but you know more than three is a plus these days.”
Other companies Boston 25 checked with say they hope to see that built up demand soon, but if there was an increase, it wasn’t much. That trust just isn’t there yet. UMass Memorial Healthcare Pfizer study site investigator Robert Finberg agrees it’s too soon to plan.
“There’s not enough vaccine out there yet to protect everybody. So don’t plan your wedding based on the basis of one trial and one vaccine,” said Finberg. “I hope that there will be vaccines available in the spring and I hope that we’ll be able to get control of the pandemic but they are not necessarily the same thing and we need both vaccine and control precautions and treatments to eliminate this pandemic.”
Finberg says even when all of those things are working together, there still needs to be a level of trust to get people to take it.
“With this vaccine are we going to get the same thing or are we going to get an off-brand or generic brand,” said Lature.
So what timeline do we have?
Pfizer thinks there will be a vaccine available to give by the end of the year but this particular vaccine that Pfizer makes requires two doses 21 days apart so that even when the vaccine becomes available, it’s still going to be a couple of months before we can answer questions like, ‘Is it safe enough' or how to mass produce it or who gets it first.
The individual results for our demographic are not out just yet, but Finberg says they will eventually release those numbers as these blind studies will continue for a couple of years since his location is one of 120 globally.
While some might see Moderna as a competitor, a Moderna spokesperson told Boston 25 they are happy for Pfizer’s positive results and they are not in competition with each other, but they are all competing against the virus.
“We are pleased to see the positive data released today, which is great news as the world awaits high efficacy vaccines and is an important step for mRNA medicines,” the spokesperson said. “We remain optimistic about the prospects of messenger RNA in being helpful in the fight against COVID-19.”
Finberg says this news although great, does not change any of our plans for 2021. What it does do is give us optimism.
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