Why we should continue or even expand the Covid-19 testing when vaccines are now available? Good question. The short answer is that the Covid-19 testing and the vaccine are, albeit related, no substitute for each other.
Yes, the vaccines are effective in protecting people from getting sick by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, there are at least three reasons why vaccination alone is not enough: the vaccines can not detect, track, nor control future spread.
The three approved vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, are very effective in protecting against the virus. But no data are available on how long their protection will last, nor how well they are against the variants of the virus.
To combat the pandemic, testings are needed in addition to the vaccines to measure the degree and extent of the spread not just in the US but around the world. Given the magnitude of the impact, we can use the Big Data in predicting the where, when and how much to focus our efforts in controlling the spread.
But without the input of data from continuous testing, we will be reacting and blindly throwing resources to the short term fixes. And we know how quickly the pandemic can overwhelm our system based on experiences.
Do you agree that Covid-19 testing and vaccination are not zero sum approach?