With a lot of the entire world either in lockdown or contemplating an imminent come back to it, it can 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 procedure which typically takes a long time would seem to possess been pared down seriously to a scramble over a matter of months, and some 240 potential vaccines are presently under development in various places across the globe, including forty in clinical trials and nine in the final stages of testing.
For governments and their scientific advisors all bearing a tired aura of folks who have come to an end of ideas, a vaccine is undoubtedly the holy grail in the fight Covid. New restrictions imposed are invariably prefaced with the words “until we’ve a vaccine “.Needless to say new vaccines do not at all times work, and so it is necessary to sound the obligatory note of caution. But assuming one or more does, what, realistically, is the better we could expect as a result?
Are we expecting an excessive amount of a vaccine?
Assumptions are frequently made 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 a virus. But coronaviruses are rarely that co-operative โควิด. Instead it’s much more likely that inoculation will provide efficacy at, say, 50%, meaning the vaccine will be a huge advance but it won’t make the virus disappear, at least not overnight.
Possibly 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 revealed 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
Notwithstanding their likely imperfect performance the candidate vaccines, if they are 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 greatly reduce the seriousness of the situation that may develop. Thus it brings benefits on two fronts.
In accordance with Vincent Munster, head of the virus ecology unit at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’Rocky Mountain Laboratories, who headed the study: “If we push the disease 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 guard 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, 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.