With much of the entire world either in lockdown or contemplating an imminent go back to it, it could be forgiven its bated breath since it awaits news updates on any little progress that might have been made towards creating a vaccine for Covid-19. A process which typically takes several years would seem to own been pared right down to a scramble over a matter of months, and some 240 potential vaccines are presently under development in various places across the planet, including forty in clinical trials and nine in the last stages of testing.
For governments and their scientific advisors all bearing a tired aura of folks who’ve come to an end of ideas, a vaccine is without question the ultimate goal in the fight against Covid. New restrictions imposed are invariably prefaced with the language “until we’ve a vaccine “.Obviously new vaccines do not at all times work, and therefore it is required to sound the obligatory note of caution. But assuming at least one does, what, realistically, is the greatest we could expect from it?
Are we expecting an excessive amount of a vaccine?
Assumptions are frequently made that a vaccine is the panacea which will finally consign the ubiquitous SARS-CoV-2 to history. But are we possibly expecting an excessive amount of it, at least in early stages?
In the field of medicine there is a concept called “sterilising immunity”, wherein a vaccinated individual can get total protection from the virus. But coronaviruses are rarely that co-operative โควิด. Instead it is much more likely that inoculation provides efficacy at, say, 50%, meaning the vaccine will be a huge step forward however it won’t make the virus disappear, at least not overnight.
Possibly probably the most advanced of the Covid-19 vaccine projects presently under way is that being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Experiments undertaken in macaques included in this project showed that the vaccine protected the primates from developing pneumonia, but quantities of virus remained in the upper airways.
Candidate vaccines a potential game-changer
Notwithstanding their likely imperfect performance the candidate vaccines, if they’re successful even up to a point, promise to become a game-changer. This is because they both minimise the odds of the recipient becoming infected and also, if infection does occur, they help reduce the seriousness of the problem which will develop. Thus it brings benefits on two fronts.
Based on Vincent Munster, head of the virus ecology unit at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’Rocky Mountain Laboratories, who headed the study: “When we push the illness from pneumonia to a common cold, then I think that is a huge step forward.”
Relegating Covid-19 to an unthreatening condition will end the requirement for restrictions to be imposed to safeguard health services, and pave the way in which for a go back to normal life and a rejuvenated economy.
Phil Andrews is really a freelance English-language content writer specialising in articles, web content and blogging. He’s the author of The Best Year Of Our Lives, a historical fiction novel occur 1976 about several young people growing up in a restless West London suburb near the River Thames.