When Will a Corona Vaccine Be Ready?
Hi Taylor - As nervous as I am for what’s going on right now, I’m also worried about next fall and the winter. It seems like the vaccine won’t be here for a while. Any information that might calm my nerves about that? - Melinda
Hey Melinda - Those are good concerns that I definitely share. I’ve got my family hunkering down to stay safe now, but it’s also important that our country doesn’t survive the first wave of this virus only to get hit harder by a second round.
A vaccine will have a huge global impact, both for the obvious health reasons and also for the markets. A few things I’ve learned that will help us stay informed.
1. Vaccines don’t develop overnight. Because we’re so used to antibiotics and other medications that are just a quick prescription away, it’s hard for people to think about the science behind identifying a new strain of virus and then creating a medicine that will kill that foreign agent without hurting the infected person. Historically, reliable vaccines have taken at least five and as many as 15 years to make. That said, the Zika virus vaccine went to clinical trials after only seven months. With so many companies working to find a solution, I feel confident a viable treatment will arrive sooner than later. It might not feel soon enough, but we have to remember what a difficult task this is for our medical community.
2. The country of origin makes a difference. Something we have to remember is that wherever the vaccine is developed might see the most accessibility at first. Once the medicine exists, it still has to be manufactured. If it gets successfully created in Germany, more Germans than Americans will likely have access in the early going. This is mostly to say - don’t run to the mall the day you hear a vaccine in Norway has passed clinical trials. We need to keep our guard up until it’s clear the U.S. has a system for treatment in place. There will also be a cost associated with acquiring vast amounts of medicine, which will be both good and trying for different economic sectors.
3. The CEPI will help. The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations is actively funding medical research institutions in the U.S. and other countries, helping to make sure a vaccine is created and then produced on a massive scale. The CEPI wasn’t founded until 2017, so having this institution around at this moment in history will be hugely beneficial.
My advice would be to stay patient instead of feeling scared. These are difficult times, but those of us who have our health should count our blessings while we wait for the next step in combating this virus. Stay safe!