Vaccine research is underway but even once one is ready, health officials don't think we can get back to normal right away. Managing COVID-19 in Canada could still be a two- to three-year fight according to Dr. Theresa Tam. That means a lot of measures will probably have to stay in place.

During an update on COVID-19 on August 4, Canada's top doctor spoke about how a vaccine could impact the country.

Dr. Tam said that it's not known yet how effective any shot is going to be like whether it prevents you from getting infected or if it just prevents serious illness and hospitalization.

After phase three trials, which are on a more large scale than other phases, she said there will still be questions "on the degree and the duration of the immunity."

There will also be questions about how many doses are needed, if a booster will be needed later on, and more.

Dr. Tam also noted that all of our hope can't be put into a vaccine as if it were a silver bullet.

"We're planning as a public health community that we're going to have to manage this pandemic certainly over the next year," she said.

For the long term, there may be planning for the next two to three years and a vaccine could play a role in that.

"The public health measures that we have in place, the personal, daily measures that we take, is going to have to continue," Dr. Tam said.

Dr. Howard Njoo took it a step further and said that those measures will have to stay in place for "quite some time."

He noted that while people think life will go back to the way it used to be after a vaccine is developed and given out, that won't be the case.

Both officials mentioned that it will be an important tool and part of the response going forward.

The top doctor said that it's not likely there will be enough doses for every single person in Canada once one is ready for the first rollout. 

Work is being done to not only create a vaccine but make sure that Canadians are able to get a shot when one is ready.

Canada has recently struck a deal with Pfizer and Moderna to get millions of doses.

There are also a bunch of Canadian companies and researchers working on their own versions and doing human trials.

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