With much of the world either in lockdown or contemplating an imminent come back to it, it can be forgiven its bated breath because it awaits news updates on any little progress that may have been made towards creating a vaccine for Covid-19. A procedure which typically takes a long time seems 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’ve go out of ideas, a vaccine is without question the holy grail in the fight Covid. New restrictions imposed are invariably prefaced with the language “until we have a vaccine “.Needless to say new vaccines do not necessarily work, and so it is required to sound the obligatory note of caution. But assuming at least one does, what, realistically, is the greatest we could expect from it?
Are we expecting too much of a vaccine?
Assumptions are frequently made that the vaccine may be the panacea which will ultimately consign the ubiquitous SARS-CoV-2 to history. But are we possibly expecting too much of it, at the least in the early stages?
In the field of medicine there’s a concept called “sterilising immunity”, wherein a vaccinated individual can expect total protection from the virus. But coronaviruses are rarely that co-operative โควิด. Instead it is much much more likely that inoculation will provide efficacy at, say, 50%, meaning the vaccine would have been a huge step forward however it won’t make the virus disappear, at the least not overnight.
Possibly the absolute 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 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 a point, promise to become 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 situation that will 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 research: “When we push the illness from pneumonia to a standard 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 protect health services, and pave the way in which for a return 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 mcdougal of The Best Year Of Our Lives, a historical fiction novel emerge 1976 about several young adults growing up in a restless West London suburb near the River Thames.