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COVID-19 Vaccine Update

Breaking News – The WHO Director has said that there are 7 or 8 top COVID-19 vaccine candidates. (see below)

How’s that COVID-19 vaccine coming along?

Are we getting close to making a vaccine to protect us against SARS-CoV-2 infections?

This is the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from Sinovac Biotech.
This is the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from Sinovac Biotech.

Or will a coronavirus vaccine be impossible to make???

No vaccine was ever approved for other types of cornonaviruses because even though they were made, they never got funding to undergo testing and development!
No vaccine was ever approved for other types of cornonaviruses because even though they were made, they never got funding to undergo testing and development!

Like many things, it depends on who you ask…

COVID-19 Vaccine Update

While that probably doesn’t surprise anyone, let’s take a look at what we really do know.

So far 115 COVID-19 vaccines are in development, but only about 10 have entered clinical trials, including:

A few of these have entered Phase II, the next step in vaccine development.

Unfortunately, that means there is still a long way to go!

Even with Operation Warp Speed, the collaboration between the US Dept of Health and Human Services and a number of private firms to accelerate development of 14 vaccine candidates.

And right now, we have no idea how well any of these vaccines will work and what side effects they might cause.

Discouraged?

Don’t be!

None of that is unexpected at this stage. Remember, even though it is likely hard for most folks to believe, the COVID-19 pandemic is still relatively new.

“We have good candidates now. The top ones are around seven, eight. But we have more than a hundred candidates.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

The other thing that is discouraging is that we are still seeing misinformation about COVID-19…

The WHO said that "no study has evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 confers immunity to subsequent infection by this virus in humans," but that doesn't necessarily mean that you can catch it again. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. In other words, we need to wait for the studies until we can say having antibodies means that you are immune and won't catch it again.
The WHO said that “no study has evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 confers immunity to subsequent infection by this virus in humans,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can catch it again. As they say – Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. In other words, we need to wait for the studies until we can say having antibodies means that you are immune and won’t catch it again.

And misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines that don’t even exist yet!

“The MenACWY vaccine is being used as an ‘active control’ vaccine in this study, to help us understand participants’ response to ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The reason for using this vaccine, rather than a saline control, is because we expect to see some minor side effects from the ChAdOx1 nCOV-19 vaccine such as a sore arm, headache and fever. Saline does not cause any of these side effects. If participants were to receive only this vaccine or a saline control, and went on to develop side effects, they would be aware that they had received the new vaccine. It is critical for this study that participants remain blinded to whether or not they have received the vaccine, as, if they knew, this could affect their health behaviour in the community following vaccination, and may lead to a bias in the results of the study.”

The Oxford Vaccine Centre COVID-19 Phase I Clinical Trial Explained

On the bright side, we know that once some of these vaccines are developed, manufacturers will be ready to make and distribute them.

Or at least some of them will…

“To bring the disease to an end, we’ll need a safe and effective vaccine. If we do everything right, we could have one in less than 18 months — about the fastest a vaccine has ever been developed. But creating a vaccine is only half the battle. To protect Americans and people around the world, we’ll need to manufacture billions of doses. (Without a vaccine, developing countries are at even greater risk than wealthy ones, because it’s even harder for them to do physical distancing and shutdowns.)

We can start now by building the facilities where these vaccines will be made. Because many of the top candidates are made using unique equipment, we’ll have to build facilities for each of them, knowing that some won’t get used. Private companies can’t take that kind of risk, but the federal government can. It’s a great sign that the administration made deals this week with at least two companies to prepare for vaccine manufacturing. I hope more deals will follow.”

Bill Gates: Here’s how to make up for lost time on covid-19

Let’s hope they do, as we will surely need a vaccine if the predictions of future waves of SARS-CoV-2 are true.

More on COVID-19 Vaccines

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