Just when we thought things couldn't get any worse, a grime report made it to the news that said that scientists may not be able to develop a vaccine for the deadly COVID-19 at all. Leading experts warned there may not be a vaccine for this novel virus, pointing that it has happened before in the case of HIV and dengue among others.
Currently, there are more than 100 vaccines under pre-clinical trials, out of which some have already entered the human trial stage—at Oxford University in England made from a chimpanzee virus and in the US for a different vaccine produced by Moderna.
“There are some viruses that we still do not have vaccines against,” Dr. David Nabarro, a professor of global health at Imperial College London, was quoted as saying by CNN on Sunday.
“We can’t make an absolute assumption that a vaccine will appear at all, or if it does appear, whether it will pass all the tests of efficacy and safety,” Nabarro, who also serves as a special envoy to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Covid-19, said.
Other organizations like the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is of the opinion that the vaccine may take a year to 18 months to develop; some say it may be longer.
However, most experts are confident that a coronavirus vaccine will be discovered because unlike previous diseases like HIV and malaria, the COVID-19 does not mutate rapidly.
“We’ve never accelerated a vaccine in a year to 18 months. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but it will be quite a heroic achievement. We need plan A, and a plan B,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, told CNN.
So far, the highly infectious virus has infected more than 3.2 million people worldwide.