Here are nine reasons to be optimistic for a Kung Flu vaccine being available to much of the population in early 2021. Excerpt:
As fall approaches rapidly, many are wondering if the race for a vaccine will bear fruit as early as January 2021.
I am a physician-scientist and infectious diseases specialist at the University of Virginia, where I care for patients and conduct research into COVID-19. I am occasionally asked how I can be sure that researchers will develop a successful vaccine to prevent COVID-19. After all, we still don’t have one for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Here is where the current research stands, where I think we will be in five months and why you can be optimistic about the delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine.
1. Human immune system cures COVID-19
In as many as 99% of all COVID-19 cases, the patient recovers from the infection, and the virus is cleared from the body.
Some of those who have had COVID-19 may have low levels of virus in the body for up to three months after infection. But in most cases these individuals can no longer transmit the virus to other people 10 days after first becoming sick.
It should therefore be much easier to make a vaccine for the new coronavirus than for infections such as HIV where the immune system fails to cure it naturally. SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t mutate the way that HIV does, making it a much easier target for the immune system to subdue or for a vaccine to control.
Read the entire article, by all means, and make up your own mind, but here’s why I’m optimistic about this.
First: All of these vaccines are going through the full process. That is to say, they are going through the same regulatory approvals and tests required for any vaccine; most of what President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed has done is to hurdle the vaccine candidates past the usual regulatory queues, placing them, in effect at the head of the line.
Second: The Covid-19 virus is a good candidate for some neat new techniques, like mRNA vaccines and vaccines that target spike proteins, which are what viruses use to penetrate host cells.
Third: There are a bunch of candidates in Phase III trials now. Phase I and II trials establish safety; Phase III, with much larger populations, establish efficacy. These candidates are in the final phase, and some of them have been in Phase III since July.
Full disclosure: Mrs. Animal will likely be in one of the priority groups for a vaccine, as she has pulmonary hypertension and is therefore in an elevated risk group. I imagine (since we, you know, cohabit) I’ll be in that priority group as well. And that’s OK.
Here’s my question: How soon, given a proven vaccine, will we finally be able to get our lives back? That’s the big question. That’s the question we should be asking our elected employees, and right damn now.