The COVID-19 Vaccine

At least ten different clinical trials are going on to identify a vaccine for COVID-19 yet we will not have a vaccine at least for a year or more.

At least ten different clinical trials are going on to identify a vaccine for COVID-19. A vaccine is made from a weakened or dead pathogen or one of its toxins or surface proteins. The body reacts and produces an immune response so if you are exposed to that pathogen again, the body can handle it.  Watch this video to learn about what it will take to create a vaccine or follow below to the transcript.

There are many conditions for a successful vaccine preparation. First is safety and effectiveness. In a recent trial of COVID-19, almost 50% of the people had side effects such as headache, fatigue and fever. In another trial, almost 50% of people did not produce a good immune response. These are healthy volunteers. 

Once we identify a vaccine in healthy volunteers, then the next phase is to have a control group with a larger number of people to see how it performs in a larger population and what are the side effects. 

Then even a third study with a much larger population, with different age groups and ethnic groups, and geographical locations will be needed before the vaccine is released. 

Once it is identified, then you need to have the manufacturing capability to produce millions of doses. Keep in mind, all over the world everybody needs it. To test the vaccine has to be packaged in either multi-dose glass vials or single-use syringes so we need the production capability with the material needed. No single manufacturer can do that so we need global cooperation with manufacturing in different countries. 

Then there is a distribution to almost every part of the world. Keep in mind if the virus is not eliminated from one part of the globe, the virus can mutate there and when it comes back the original vaccine may not be effective or fully effective so we need to eradicate it everywhere in the world. This again takes global cooperation 

Finally, people have to accept the vaccine. In order for that they need to feel comfortable: no corners have been cut, the vaccine has not been rushed through, it has been properly studied. Only then will people accept it. 

So with all these impediments, it is not conceivable that we will have a vaccine at least for a year or more. 

For the present, therefore, we have to depend on what we know, namely physical distancing, using face masks, and hand sanitation. Please. Together we can keep this under control within a matter of weeks so that we can get on with our normal life. We need cooperation from everybody.

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