While researchers continue to race to find a vaccine for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield shared his thoughts that better protection against the virus may already be widely available.
While speaking to a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday, Dr. Redfield said that masks offer better protection against COVID-19 than a vaccine could.
“They are our best defense. I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me than the vaccine because the immunogenicity might only be 70 percent and if I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me. This mask will,” Redfield said, via the New York Post.
The news comes as we see companies like Pfizer working on a vaccine and Donald Trump showing optimism that a vaccine could be available by November.
Of course, other experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci strongly believe rushing a vaccine would cause more harm than good, so for now the smart thing to do is follow CDC guidelines and mask up in public.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 6.38 million confirmed cases and 191,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.