With a lot of the entire world either in lockdown or contemplating an imminent come back to it, it may be forgiven its bated breath because it awaits news updates on any little progress that may have been made towards developing a vaccine for Covid-19. An activity which typically takes a long time would seem to have 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 world, 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’ve come to an end of ideas, a vaccine is without a doubt the holy grail in the combat Covid. New restrictions imposed are invariably prefaced with what “until we’ve a vaccine “.Of course new vaccines do not at all times work, and therefore it is necessary to sound the obligatory note of caution. But assuming a minumum of one does, what, realistically, is the better we can expect as a result?
Are we expecting an excessive amount of a vaccine?
Assumptions are frequently made that a vaccine could be 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 the first 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 will give you efficacy at, say, 50%, meaning the vaccine is a huge advance nonetheless 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 produced by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Experiments undertaken in macaques within this project revealed that the vaccine protected the primates from developing pneumonia, but quantities of virus remained in the top of airways.
Candidate vaccines a possible game-changer
Notwithstanding their likely imperfect performance the candidate vaccines, if they’re successful even up to and including point, promise to be 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 problem that’ll 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 study: “If we push the condition from pneumonia to a typical cold, then I think that’s a huge step forward.”
Relegating Covid-19 to an unthreatening condition will end the need for restrictions to be imposed to guard health services, and pave the way for a come back to normal life and a rejuvenated economy.
Phil Andrews is really a freelance English-language content writer specialising in articles, site content and blogging. He is 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.