Different consultants mentioned this situation was not simply believable however seemingly.
“The general mental assemble of the paper I absolutely agree with,” mentioned Shane Crotty, a virologist on the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in San Diego.
If the vaccines stop folks from transmitting the virus, “then it turns into much more just like the measles situation, the place you vaccinate all people, together with youngsters, and you actually don’t see the virus infecting folks anymore,” Dr. Crotty mentioned.
It’s extra believable that the vaccines will stop sickness — however not essentially an infection and transmission, he added. And which means the coronavirus will proceed to flow into.
“It’s unlikely that the vaccines we’ve proper now are going to offer sterilizing immunity,” the sort wanted to stop an infection, mentioned Jennifer Gommerman, an immunologist on the College of Toronto.
Pure an infection with the coronavirus produces a robust immune response within the nostril and throat. However with the present vaccines, Dr. Gommerman mentioned, “you’re not getting a pure immune response within the precise higher respiratory tract, you’re getting an injection within the arm.” That raises the probability that infections will nonetheless happen, even after vaccination.
Finally, Dr. Lavine’s mannequin rests on the belief that the brand new coronavirus is much like the frequent chilly coronaviruses. However that assumption might not maintain up, cautioned Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist on the Harvard T.H. Chan College of Public Well being in Boston.
“Different coronavirus infections might or is probably not relevant, as a result of we haven’t seen what these coronaviruses can do to an older, naïve particular person,” Dr. Lipsitch mentioned. (Naïve refers to an grownup whose immune system has not been uncovered to the virus.)