The world is already enough distressed and pessimistic at the moment. Early this month, Dr David Nabarro, the WHO’s Covid-19 special envoy said that he is unsure about the appearance of vaccination ever and it is also unlikely to have it anytime sooner. Similarly, another top US scientist today has warned that a vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus may never be found despite rigorous progress in getting one.
On the other hand, this week gave hope with research that COVID-19 vaccine ‘mRNA-1273’ showed promising results in early trial and are strong enough to proceed to a larger phase 2 trial. But, the US scientist, William Haseltine, a groundbreaking researcher of cancer, HIV/AIDS and human genome projects, said the world should not count on a successful COVID-19 vaccine being developed anytime soon. “While a COVID-19 vaccine could be developed, I wouldn’t count on it,” Haseltine told.
He further went on to advise all the countries that lifting lockdown rules should rely on a careful tracking of infections and strict isolation measures to curb the pandemic. Haseltine reminded with a cautious manner that a few vaccines which were developed earlier for other types of coronavirus had failed to protect mucous membranes in the nose, the area where the virus typically enters the body.
However, the scientist said that the virus can still be controlled without an effective vaccine or treatment through identifying infections, finding people who have been exposed and isolating them. Haseltine stressed the importance of wearing masks, washing hands, cleaning surfaces regularly and social distancing rules. He said China, S.Korea, Taiwan were able to curb the virus successfully using the guidelines properly, while the United States, Russia and Brazil have done the worst.
In conclusion, right now, we do have a good cure with all hygiene and social distancing guidelines. Though it is not high tech, it still works! Flattening the curve will allow our hospital system to respond to severe patients and provide supportive care. Further, as the healthy population gets infected and has a mild disease, we will build natural immunity. By the time we reach a level of the population exposed and recovered, we will have “herd immunity” and the transmission may possibly diminish.