A report in Tuesday’s New York Times (Jan.26) makes it plain:
The arrival of highly effective vaccines in December lifted hopes that they would eventually slow or stop the spread of the disease through the rest of the population. But vaccines alone are not enough, the model shows. And if precautions like working remotely, limiting travel and wearing masks are relaxed too soon, it could mean millions more infections and thousands more deaths.
Social distancing, masking and other measures should remain in place until late July, “and that may be optimistic,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia. Otherwise, yet another resurgence of the virus is possible.
“There are people who are going to want to relax the controls we have in place,” Dr. Shaman said. “If we start thinking, ‘We’ve got a vaccine, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, we can stop in a couple of months’ — that’s way too soon.”
The coming months are critical in the race to reduce new infections and deaths.