A Safe & Effective Vaccine for COVID-19: Opportunities, Challenges and an Equity Imperative

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University of Delaware Community Engagement Initiative, Partnership for Healthy Communities
COVID-19 is a disease with potential serious consequences which spreads relatively easily, and a vaccine is our best hope for preventing further COVID-19 related illness and death and ending the global pandemic. The vaccine development timeline is a major challenge, but scientists around the world are working hard to move quickly, while ensuring safety. Governments should invest in vaccine development and work with pharmaceutical companies to streamline the development and approval process, while ensuring critical attention to safety at each stage. Until a vaccine has been approved and can be administered to everyone, it is critical to follow expert advice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including practicing physical distancing, wearing cloth face coverings in public, maintaining proper personal hygiene, and getting tested and isolating yourself if you have been exposed or are infected. The current pandemic is a reminder of the importance of vaccines. To the extent possible, parents should remain attentive to well child visits and the vital need to stay up to date on their children’s immunizations to protect against other serious vaccine-preventable diseases. Once a safe and effective vaccine has been developed, equity and racial justice considerations should guide decision-making about distribution of the vaccine.
health, COVID-19, vaccine, equity