For many Americans chafing to return to normalcy, recent reports that at least two experimental covid-19 vaccines are highly effective come as welcome news in the midst of a frightening surge of infections and deaths. The first shots may be given in the mid-to late December, but that doesn't mean you can hug your friends, stop washing your hands or throw away your mask any time soon.
The return to many of our old familiar ways will take time, and how much time remains unclear. The answers await more research into the vaccines, how they can be distributed and how many people are willing to get them.
"A vaccine won't be available immediately for everybody," says Arthur Reingold, a professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley. He also chairs California's COVID-19 Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, which will evaluate the safety and efficacy of covid-19 vaccines.
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