People should not put all their hopes with fighting COVID-19 on just vaccines.
The Chair of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, Kate Bingham warned everyone on Tuesday that the first generation of COVID-19 vaccines “might not work for everyone,” Reuters reported.
In addition, we also do not know if we “will ever have a vaccine at all,” she said.
The chair warns people of lowering their guards due to “complacency and over-optimism,” she wrote in the Lancet Medical Journal.
Bingham also wrote that the Taskforce accepts the possibility of many if not all vaccines might fail.
The first generation of vaccines might not totally “prevent infection, but rather reduce symptoms,” which might not work for everyone “or for long,” she wrote.
The chair also added that the current global manufacturing capacity of doses is insufficient.
In fact, Airfinity, a science information and analytics company, estimated that half of the world’s population might not have access to them until around 2022.
And that is if we can develop a cure that is good enough for everyone.
Even the United Kingdom “has been equally scarce” with its manufacturing capability recently, per Reuters.
Vaccine Candidates at the Forefront of the Race
We currently have ten pharmaceutical companies who are leading the race for the creation of the first COVID-19 vaccine.
All ten companies are now at their phase 3 trials.
Those include the ones from the UK’s University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, Russia Gamaleya’s Sputnik V, China’s Sinovac and Sinopharm, and US’ Johnson and Johnson, and Pfizer.
Recently, some of those vaccines have also halted their studies at some point due to some safety concerns.
In fact, Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca have both paused their studies recently.
AstraZeneca itself paused twice during its phase 3 trials.
Opinion: Countries Should Focus on Lessening Cases than Putting All Their Hopes on Vaccines
What the Taskforce chair said about the first generation of COVID-19 cure sounds pessimistic.
However, it’s realistic and is something that lawmakers and country leaders have to take into consideration.
In fact, even candidates leading the race are still having trouble with the trials.
Although experts have explained those are normal to clinical studies.
It doesn’t mean that governments have to limit their plans to a future with a COVID-19 vaccine.
It is also true that many countries have put all their hopes on the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine.
However, in doing so, it makes everyone more complacent and affects curbing the infections.
More leaders should start thinking of planning a society that can live with the virus.
The kind of plan where the economy, the environment, and the people can still be protected.