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HomeHealth CareSutter: Coronavirus and a Possible Vaccine

Sutter: Coronavirus and a Possible Vaccine

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Swab420By Daniel Sutter - 

President Trump recently announced “Operation Warp Speed,” a plan for a novel coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020.  I welcome the announcement because the greatest impediment to a vaccine now is the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval process. Speedy development of a vaccine is not without precedent.

The FDA vaccine approval process starts with animal testing to evaluate safety and the production of antibodies followed by three phases of human testing.  First is a very small sample to test safety; vaccines sometimes induce immune system reactions which damage organs.  If judged safe, two rounds of randomized control trials ensue involving hundreds and then thousands of participants.

Only a safe and effective vaccine will benefit Americans.  A vaccine will likely be part of returning life to normal.  An ineffective vaccine may unleash another COVID outbreak and thousands of deaths.

Can this be accomplished quickly?  Dr. Anthony Fauci has repeatedly stated that developing a vaccine will take 12 to 18 months; other experts suggest years.  History shows otherwise, at least in one case.  In 1957, a new strain of influenza, the Asian flu, was detected in Hong Kong in April.  Dr. Maurice Hilleman, chief of respiratory diseases at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, wanted a vaccine ready before it reached the U.S.  When the flu arrived four months later, forty million Americans had been inoculated.  The pandemic claimed 70,000 American lives, but the total likely would have been much higher without a vaccine.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. If they aren’t able to create an effective vaccine the only other option will be a placebo so we can “feel” safe again and the experts can save face. Without some sort of “medicine” we will never return to normal.