The pressure the pandemic puts on all of us can prove to be fatal when it comes to those that are expected to come up with solutions. Because of pressure, some companies working to find the vaccine that would stop the coronavirus pandemic might end up bypassing the mandatory procedure and cause a lot of harm.
According to ScienceAlert, the World Health Organization reported that at least 70 possible vaccines are racing to the finish line, with only 3 of them in the clinical trial stage. Chinese biotech company CanSino, US-based biotech startups Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Moderna are the three institutions that begun human testing.
Making a vaccine is a year-long process
BUT! And there is a big but. Touching the finish line in a vaccine race isn’t anything like a touchdown for an American football player. You don’t dodge the adversary. And the adversary in this metaphor isn’t just the competition. It’s the system too.
The system puts safety before anything else. And it should since the risk of a failed vaccine is to compromise even more the immune system. So, the system mandates any company to respect the same process. Any skyped step can end in a failure that will be observed only when it is too late.
The steps for a vaccine are lab tests, animal tests, small human group tests, human trials. And if all goes well, come production, manufacturing, and distribution. And only then comes the actual vaccination on the population. Every step of this process is months and even years long.
Stat News reported that some drug-companies are skipping the stage of animal tests to mark a touchdown. “I understand the importance of accelerating timelines for vaccines in general, but from everything I know, this is not the vaccine to be doing it with,” warned Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
About the New Coronavirus
Since SARS and MERS, scientists from different parts of the world tried to find a vaccine that could terminate a coronavirus epidemic. And there was no winner in the process. So, when Anthony Fauci, the Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says the US might see a vaccine in more or less 12 to 18 months, his words aren’t exactly trustworthy.
Paul Offit said that “when Dr. Fauci said 12 to 18 months, I thought that was ridiculously optimistic. And I’m sure he did, too.” Offit was the co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine in the 1990s, so his words hold the reason to be trusted.