Protecting patients from Covid-19 is a wonderful step forward. But we cannot yet afford to relax our guard
The face of hope in 2020 is 90-year-old Margaret Keenan, the first patient worldwide to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. After a year mostly spent self-isolating, she described her dose as “the best thing that’s ever happened”. It was welcome not only to her, and to her family, but to strangers across the land. In the gloom of winter, the rollout of the immunisation programme is a rare glimmer of light.
Though this year may seem to have stretched on for an eternity, it has been only months from sequencing the virus to deploying an approved vaccine. That is a truly astonishing achievement: a testament to the work of scientists and others around the world. Many more candidates are close behind it. Russia has already begun to deliver its Sputnik V vaccine. China has vaccinated more than a million people with the Sinopharm vaccine, still in its testing phase.
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