With much of the entire world either in lockdown or contemplating an imminent come back to it, it can 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 procedure which typically takes many years would seem to have been pared right down 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 ultimate 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 question the holy grail in the fight against Covid. New restrictions imposed are invariably prefaced with what “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 at least one does, what, realistically, is the better we could expect from it?
Are we expecting too much 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 too much 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 expect total protection from the virus. But coronaviruses are rarely that co-operative โควิด. Instead it is much much more likely that inoculation can provide efficacy at, say, 50%, meaning the vaccine will be a huge step of progress 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 produced 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’re successful even up to 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.
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 investigation: “When we push the condition from pneumonia to a typical cold, then I do believe that is clearly a huge step forward.”
Relegating Covid-19 to an unthreatening condition will end the requirement for restrictions to be imposed to protect 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, web content and blogging. He is the writer of The Best Year Of Our Lives, a historical fiction novel occur 1976 about a small grouping of young adults growing up in a restless West London suburb beside the River Thames.