Coronavirus vaccines might not protect the elderly, warns WHO scientist – Latest News

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The 32-year-old added contact tracing and better ventilation should be used to “fill in the gaps” and that Covid-19 deniers will keep their communities at risk.

Dr Natalie Dean said we may need to develop multiple jabs before we can lift lockdown measures.

World Health Organisation consultant Dr Natalie Dean who worked on the Ebola vaccine says a single jab may not work on everyone but we can’t continue our “unsustainable” lockdown

Dr. Natalie Dean, assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida

Researcher works on the development of a Covid-19 vaccine

A nurse visits an elderly woman in her home

“So if we find that the vaccine doesn’t work as well in older adults then those populations will remain at risk and that’s where we are really going to need potentially layering different vaccines which have different attributes to fill in the gaps.”

Coronavirus vaccines may not protect the elderly, an infectious disease expert has warned.

Dr Dean, who worked on the Ebola vaccine and is a statistical consultant for the World Health Organisation, told The Vergecast: “There may be populations where the vaccine doesn’t work as well.

“The way that I think we need to think about it is that the vaccine is one tool and what are other tools? And all of these combined together is what drives our numbers lower.

“Roughly we estimate that’s between 50% and 67% – that’s a lot of people. Of course there’s complications to that and that’s just a rough average.

The bio-statistician at the University of Florida also told the podcast: “We have this concept of herd immunity threshold which is how many people need to be vaccinated to be immune in order for new outbreaks from forming.

The expert called for more robust testing, contact tracing and better ventilation to fight the pandemic.

Dr Dean said that the numbers of people who try the vaccine could vary among populations, presenting a further challenge.

And she added that different discoveries along the way could offer some level of control that will mean the vaccine doesn’t need to do a “full lift”.

She fears that certain sections of communities will still be at risk if they do not choose to engage and says that a lack of public confidence could be behind such a refusal.

Dr. Natalie Dean, assistant professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida (Image: Jesse S. Jones/University of Florida)

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