How do you figure out how effective a vaccine needs to be if you can’t test it widely on humans? A team of health and computer scholars took up that challenge, and they have a warning for anyone counting on a vaccine to mean the end of social distancing.

They created a computer simulation of every person in the United States to test how effective a vaccine would have to be for America to confidently stop social distancing. It turns out it isn’t just about the vaccine – human behavior also plays a crucial role.

Also today:

Stacy Morford

General Assignments Editor

The lower the vaccine’s effectiveness, the more likely social distancing in some form may still be necessary. Gopixa via Getty Images

How ‘good’ does a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine need to be to stop the pandemic? A new study has answers

Bruce Y. Lee, City University of New York

A vaccine that's 70% effective might not be good enough if too few people are willing to be vaccinated, new research shows.

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