Describing it as the “most powerful public health tool” against the novel coronavirus, Robert Redfield, director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States, has said face masks offered much better protection against the infection than a vaccines would.
The CDC is the US equivalent of the Indian Council of Medical Research. Redfield was responding to questions from US lawmakers at a Senate sub-committee hearing.
“We have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defence. I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid-19 than when I take a vaccine,” Redfield said.
While a coronavirus vaccine is likely to become available by early next year, if not towards the end of this year itself, no one knows as of now how effective these vaccines are likely to be. Prominent scientists and vaccine developers have suggested that the early vaccines might not be the most effective ones, and that we would be lucky if they provide protection to at least 75 per cent of those inoculated. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said it would approve a coronavirus vaccine if was found to be safe and was at least 50 per cent effective.