It's very encouraging news today that Pfizer appears to have an effective vaccine against the Covid-19 virus with potentially 90% effective rate. Read more here: [cnn.com]
Conclusion: It's reasonable to wait until FDA approval and phase 4 says it's ok... which to me means no earlier than the middle of 2021.
Without seeing their methods of analysis, it's very difficult to speak to whether/ when I would get it. That being said, with my international travel to high risk exposure places, I've been immunized for damn near everything that's offered, and am a huge advocate of childhood vaccines. if the data backs this up, I'd be in the front of the line to get it as a nurse, and would happily roll up my sleeve and assume the risk to minimize the risk of infecting someone I love or provide care to who would likely experience severe disease. It's not so much about my health as it is public health. I think we've all seen this year how important a healthy society can be.
From what I've read, 50% is the cutoff for a vaccine approval. The goal isn't specifically to immediately eliminate the virus but if they can drive the 'Effective Reproduction Number'(Rt) below 1, then the disease will fairly quickly(effectively) fade from our population as did Polio and Measles.
Just now we're not doing so well. Check this link: [rt.live] . Only two states currently have Rt numbers below 1. (Also look at the past graphs to see how we were doing better fairly recently but we're slipping these days.).
Personally, I will of course wait for them to perform their safety tests on the vaccine. Again, from what I've seen that's going to be at least a couple of more months. But then I will probably take it. Every person that 'can't' propagate the virus is a step towards the correct definition of herd immunity.
Another question that will arise shortly will be how quickly the virus mutates. Will there be one or more new strains each year to have to develop new vaccines for? The sooner we drive current strain infection rates to effectively zero, the better.
I'll wait, only because there are 328 million people in the U.S. and the drug companies can't make that many vaccines overnight nor can that many vaccinations be administered in just a few weeks. I'll let the elderly and higher risk people go first. I don't mind waiting a month or two.
I'm not worried about side effects or anything like that. I don't think that's how vaccines work. The vast majority people have no negative side effects from vaccines that I'm aware of (aside from maybe a brief and minor physical reaction such as from the flu vaccine).
I'm also assuming that the vaccine will be free or nearly so, as it should be.
I'll take a vaccine, whether this one or another, when it's deemed to be safe, effective and available to me. I will trust my doctor's advice and watch the progress of the various vaccines myself to feel informed.
I will avoid close contact with anti-vaxxers, for a while, even after I've been vaccinated, since they would still pose a risk to me even if the vaccine is 90% effective. I'd rather surround myself with folks wanting to be part of the solution.
As soon as it's available, I would take whatever reliable vaccine is available. There will be a bunch not just Pfizer, I think they pulled a fast one to tout their stock BTW. I would even take Sputnik V if it cleared trials and would protect me from Covid-19. They won't be available for at least 6-8 months to the general public.