With a lot of the entire world either in lockdown or contemplating an imminent go back to it, it could be forgiven its bated breath as it awaits news updates on any little progress that might have been made towards having a vaccine for Covid-19. A process which typically takes a long time would seem to own been pared down to a scramble over a matter of months, and some 240 potential vaccines are presently under development in several places across the world, 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 go out of ideas, a vaccine is without question the holy grail in the fight against Covid. New restrictions imposed are invariably prefaced with the language “until we’ve a vaccine “.Needless to say 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 better we can expect as a result?
Are we expecting an excessive amount of a vaccine?
Assumptions are frequently made that the vaccine may 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 the 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 is much much more likely that inoculation will give you efficacy at, say, 50%, meaning the vaccine will be a huge step forward however it won’t make the virus disappear, at the 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 as part of this project showed 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 are successful even up to 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 reduce the seriousness of the condition that’ll 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 investigation: “When we push the illness from pneumonia to a typical cold, then I believe that is a huge step forward.”
Relegating Covid-19 to an unthreatening condition will end the necessity for restrictions to be imposed to safeguard health services, and pave the way 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 is the writer of The Best Year Of Our Lives, a historical fiction novel set in 1976 about a group of young adults growing up in a restless West London suburb beside the River Thames.