What questions still need to be answered about the Pfizer vaccine?

Expert tells WBEN vaccination is the right move, but more research needs to be done before a return to normal
COVID vaccine on the way
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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, which the FDA has said it will give Emergency Use Authorization for, has been proven effective in reducing or eliminating illness associated with COVID, but more questions must be answered by continued trials.

"What the trials have not yet been designed to do, and maybe the data will be able to show us this in a couple of months, is whether or not the vaccine really prevents infection," said Dr. Bruce Troen, Chief of geriatric medicine at the University at Buffalo. "Let's say you got an infection, but because of the vaccine you've been able to fight it. You may still be able to spread the illness."

That question is not to say the vaccine is ineffective, but the increased timeline means there is still more to learn about what protections it offers.

Troen is among the doctors who has advocated for nursing home residents to be among the first to receive the vaccine, which will be the case under the state's plan. However, the doctor believes there still needs to be caution in nursing home settings even after the vaccine has been distributed throughout those facilities.

"I think we still have to be very cautious," Troen said. "My hope is that in two or three months, we'll have information that will say that the spread is reduced (by the vaccine). Until that time, we still have to be very cautious."