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Public health experts and government leaders around the world have high hopes for the rapid development of a vaccine to repel the coronavirus pandemic that has killed over 150,000 in the United States and nearly 700,000 worldwide. But a recent statement by the Director General of the World Health Organization casts some doubt on the possibility of a quick and easy solution to this global crisis.
Along with the promise of safe and effective vaccines is on the horizon comes a lot of realism. “There is no silver bullet right now and there may never be,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, during a 3rd August briefing.
Many experts, including doctors at the WHO, have said that the fastest way to end the pandemic is through a vaccine. For people around the world who are tired of it, and that , it can not come soon enough.
How far away is a vaccine against COVID-19? We will try to answer that by looking at what doctors and researchers have to say, as well as what goes into the process of vaccine approval. As a relatively new disease, much remains unknown about COVID-19. This article is frequently updated and is intended to be a general overview, not a source of medical advice. If you are looking for more information on coronavirus testing,close to you. here is and .
Important COVID-19 vaccine news
- The European Union could approve a vaccine for COVID-19 before the end of 2020, Marco Cavaleri, the EU’s top vaccine official, told Bloomberg in July.
The COVID vaccine is developing faster
Several acceleration efforts are currently underway, such as the White House’s Operation Warp Speed, which is intended to cut through the law firm to accelerate vaccine development and has hundreds of millions of vaccine doses ready to distribute as soon as they receive FDA approval.
But some researchers are worried about the political pressure to have a vaccine ready before the November election could lead to drugs being distributed to Americans before they have proven safe. After all, vaccines usually take decades to develop and distribute globally. It has never been done so fast before.
Vaccines usually take about 10 to 15 years to develop and approve through four phases that include human trials. But with Operation Warp Speed, rather than submitting all parts of the application after all four phases are completed, approved vaccine projects can send data to the FDA piece by piece.
Meanwhile, the program also supports financial support to begin manufacturing doses while clinical trials are still ongoing. This means that if and when these vaccines are approved, there is already a stock of doses ready to be distributed nationally. Because of this, Fauci said he expects the United States to have “hundreds of millions of doses” of the vaccine ready for distribution in early 2021.
Promising vaccines against coronavirus from the UK, USA, China
Here’s a quick look at some of the frontrunners in the race to find a vaccine against COVID-19, including where the vaccines are being developed, where they are testing them and when researchers believe they may be ready for widespread distribution, if known.
Oxford University / AstraZeneca (UK): It is currently testing its vaccine on 100,000 human volunteers in at least three countries. Leading researcher Dr. Sarah Gilbert has said that they are aiming for a release in the autumn of 2020.
Modern (US): An apparent mix of state regulators delayed large-scale human testing, but Modernes’ CEO has told Barrons that he still expects the company to know by Thanksgiving if the vaccine is safe and effective and should be able to distribute it in early 2021 if it does.
Pfizer (USA): Although its four COVID-19 vaccine candidates are still in early-stage human studies, two of them have been rapidly detected by the FDA. Pfizer’s chief business officer told the US Congress that the company may be ready to apply for FDA approval in October.
SinoVac (China): It is currently testing its vaccine against about 10,000 human volunteers in China and about 9,000 in Brazil and will soon begin testing on about 1,900 test subjects in Indonesia. The CEO of BioPharma, SinoVac’s Indonesian partner, has said he expects the vaccine to be ready in early 2021.
SinoPharm (China): Currently testing about 15,000 volunteers in the Middle East in a trial that the state-owned company expects to last for three to six months. SinoPharm recently built a second plant to manufacture the vaccine and doubled its capacity to approximately 200 million doses per year.
CanSino Biologics (China): To begin major human trials this summer, CanSino’s vaccine has already been approved by the Chinese military.
Will there just be one vaccine for everyone?
We probably won’t know until next year, but Fauci has suggested that it may take several different vaccines manufactured and distributed by different laboratories to end the pandemic, in an article published May 11 in the journal Science.
What happens if we never find a coronavirus vaccine?
Coronavirus is a large class of viruses and so far there are no vaccines for any of them. Although there are promising early results, there is no guarantee of a vaccine until 2021. Statistically, only about 6% of vaccine candidates have ever reached the market, according to a Reuters special report.
Early evidence suggests that the coronavirus does not appear to mutate as rapidly or frequently as the flu, and it is believed that the virus has not yet been mutated enough to interfere with vaccine development – although our knowledge may change.
The further we go without a vaccine, the more likely the focus will change towards treatments, for example, which reportedly showed promising results, and , a steroid that doctors say increases the survival rate among the most serious cases. With effective therapeutic treatments, many viruses that used to be lethal are no longer death sentences. Patients with HIV, for example, can now expect to have the same life expectancy as non-HIV-positive individuals thanks to tremendous advances in treatment.
Locking measures are already in placeeven if it has a potential , cities may reverse certain quarantine measures, including requirements and . Eventually, the global population can reach the 60% to 70% required for to protect those who are not immune.