With a lot of the entire world either in lockdown or contemplating an imminent return to it, it can be forgiven its bated breath as it awaits news updates on any little progress that could have been made towards creating a vaccine for Covid-19. A procedure which typically takes a long time would appear to possess 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 run out of ideas, a vaccine is undoubtedly the ultimate goal in the fight 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 so it is necessary to sound the obligatory note of caution. But assuming one or more does, what, realistically, is the greatest we can expect from it?
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’s 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 can provide efficacy at, say, 50%, meaning the vaccine is a huge advance nonetheless 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 manufactured by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Experiments undertaken in macaques as part of 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 potential game-changer
In spite of their likely imperfect performance the candidate vaccines, if they’re successful even up to a point, promise to be always a game-changer. This is because they both minimise the odds of the recipient becoming infected and also, if infection does occur, they 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 standard cold, then I think that is clearly 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 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 is the writer 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.