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Here's the Biggest Misconception About Coronavirus Vaccines

By Keith Speights – Updated Oct 26, 2020 at 2:06PM

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It could translate to good news for biotechs with COVID-19 therapies.

It's quite possible that two coronavirus vaccines will receive FDA emergency use authorization by the end of this year: BNT162b2, the vaccine candidate being developed by Pfizer (PFE -1.04%) and BioNTech (BNTX 0.79%), and Moderna's (MRNA -2.01%) experimental coronavirus vaccine mRNA-1273. Yet there could be some unrealistic expectations for these vaccines. In this Fool Live video, Healthcare and Cannabis Bureau Chief Corinne Cardina and longtime Motley Fool contributor Keith Speights discuss the biggest misconception about coronavirus vaccines.

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Corrine Cardina: What do you think is the biggest misconception about coronavirus vaccine candidates and eventually the actual vaccines that are authorized?

Keith Speights: Probably the biggest misconception is that it's just going to be that silver bullet. The vaccine is going to be 100% effective and everybody takes it and the pandemic is gone. I don't think that's going to happen.

Number one, I don't think any of these vaccines are going to be anywhere close to 100% effective. Now, we don't know exactly what their efficacy rate is going to be at this point but even if you say 70% effective, well that means for 30% of the people, it's not going to effectively immunize them against the coronavirus.

Basically, I think that people who think that the vaccine is just going to be this magic answer are going to be sorely disappointed but on the other hand, it's going to be an answer or the vaccines will be an answer. They'll certainly help and they could get us well along the way to getting past the crisis mode that we're in right now.

Corrine Cardina: Yeah, absolutely. So the need for treatments really isn't going away as soon as we get a vaccine. So Gilead's (GILD 0.13%) remdesivir, the Regeneron (REGN 0.07%) antibody cocktail, there will still be a need for those, especially in the near-term.

Keith Speights: Absolutely. I know a lot of people might not like this but I think it's highly likely that we'll still need to be wearing masks and practicing social distancing probably at least through much of next year.

Corinne Cardina has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Keith Speights owns shares of Pfizer. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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