With much of the world either in lockdown or contemplating an imminent come back to it, it could be forgiven its bated breath as it awaits news updates on any little progress that may have been made towards creating a vaccine for Covid-19. A process which typically takes a long time would appear to own been pared down seriously to a scramble over a matter of months, and some 240 potential vaccines are presently under development in a variety of places across the globe, 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 Covid. New restrictions imposed are invariably prefaced with the words “until we have a vaccine “.Obviously new vaccines do not always work, and therefore it is necessary to sound the obligatory note of caution. But assuming a minumum of one does, what, realistically, is the greatest we can expect as a result?
Are we expecting an excessive amount of a vaccine?
Assumptions are frequently made that the vaccine is the panacea which will ultimately consign the ubiquitous SARS-CoV-2 to history. But are we possibly expecting an excessive amount of it, at the very least in early stages?
In the field of medicine there’s a concept called “sterilising immunity”, wherein a vaccinated individual can get total protection from a virus. But coronaviruses are rarely that co-operative โควิด. Instead it’s much much more likely that inoculation provides efficacy at, say, 50%, meaning the vaccine will be a huge step of progress however it won’t make the virus disappear, at the very 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 indicated that the vaccine protected the primates from developing pneumonia, but quantities of virus remained in top of the airways.
Candidate vaccines a potential game-changer
In spite of their likely imperfect performance the candidate vaccines, if they are successful even up to a point, promise to be a game-changer. The reason being 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.
According to Vincent Munster, head of the virus ecology unit at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’Rocky Mountain Laboratories, who headed the investigation: “When we push the illness from pneumonia to a common cold, then I think that is clearly a huge step forward.”
Relegating Covid-19 to an unthreatening condition will end the necessity for restrictions to be imposed to guard health services, and pave just how for a come back to normal life and a rejuvenated economy.
Phil Andrews is just a freelance English-language content writer specialising in articles, content and blogging. He’s the author of The Best Year Of Our Lives, a historical fiction novel emerge 1976 about a small grouping of young people growing up in a restless West London suburb near the River Thames.