An announcement on Monday 9th November sparked hope around the world. Pfizer announced that their coronavirus vaccine is effective in around 90% of people.
In addition, another coronavirus vaccine is under development by Moderna, a US biotechnology company. In a trial involving 30,000 people, the Moderna vaccination was nearly 95% effective at preventing coronavirus. In the wake of this news, some people are suggesting that life could be back to normal as early as spring.
What Does This Mean for the UK?
First of all, the vaccines are still in the final stages of testing and are not yet approved for general use. However, the announcements from Pfizer and Moderna indicate that their coronavirus vaccines are significantly more effective than expected. Both firms are applying for emergency approval, which, if granted, will make the vaccinations available by the end of this year.
The UK has ordered 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine (enough for 2.5 million people) and 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine (enough for 20 million people). However, Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccination is much harder to distribute, since it needs to be stored at extremely low temperatures of around -80°C. The Moderna vaccine on the other hand remains stable at room temperature for up to 12 hours. Unfortunately, it is more expensive than its Pfizer counterpart.
So What Now?
Some experts worry that the news of a coronavirus vaccine will make people less careful when it comes to social distancing. The Prime Minister has urged us all to be cautious, particularly as we go through the winter period, to avoid overwhelming the NHS.
Any safe and effective vaccine will likely be given to care home residents and staff first, before being administered to healthcare and social care workers and the elderly.
Stay Safe in the Meantime
As long as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, elderly people and those with conditions that make them vulnerable will need to stay safe at home. A Telecare alarm can offer independence and reassurance for both the user and their loved ones. For more information, call 0800 635 7000 and speak to our friendly Customer Service Team.
If you are a healthcare provider, social worker, or carer and you know someone who would benefit from a personal alarm, please fill in our simple referral form today. We’ll be in touch as soon as we can. We also accept referrals from friends and family – just click here to fill in our contact form.