“It sounds as though we’re in a locked room, wanting to get out,” Schaffner said. “The door out of that locked room, we hope, is a vaccine. But in the meantime, we can’t just be complacent.”
We can count on one vaccine being ready in the fall — the flu vaccine for the 2020-2021 flu season. It’s more important than usual to get vaccinated this year, Kelen and Schaffner said. If more people are protected against the flu, they’ll be protected against at least one severe respiratory viruses, which could save them a trip to the hospital.
“The vaccine isn’t perfect, but it still can prevent many infections and make other infections less severe,” Schaffner said.
We know what we’re up against come the fall. Both doctors said it’s unlikely that businesses will close en masse again like they did in the spring, and more communal places like schools and places of worship will reopen. That, coupled with flu season, could make it easy for coronavirus to circulate in communities.
That makes the standard mitigation efforts — staying at home as much as possible, wearing a mask in public and maintaining at least six feet of distance — all the more important, Schaffner and Kelen said.
CNN’s Amanda Watts contributed to this report.
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