With so much confusion around the timeline for a vaccine, it’s important for people to know how long that will be before coming to fruition.
As of April, 2020, there is no vaccine. With some much data being pushed out onto the internet, not all being anything close to accurate, it’s important that people actually understand a vaccine is a good 18 months away for even the richest countries.
One of the reasons for this is due to the virus mutating, making it very difficult to create a vaccine for something like almost seems to be changing. It’s like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube that’s fighting back.
With a vaccine established to be a goal of 2021, what can be done during the wait?
The acting Philippines representative from the WHO (World Health Organization), Dr. Socorro Escalante gave the proposal in the DOH press briefing on April 27, 2020, as she stated it will take at least one to one and a half years for a vaccine to be developed and ready for use, but even this may even be optimistic unless some changes are made in the lead up to the vaccine.
Escalante suggested two approaches in preparation. One involved reviewing the regulatory processes as well as developing the local manufacturing systems so they’re ready for production when the vaccine finally arrives.
“Vaccine development would really take time so for the meantime, we would encourage the country to prepare its regulatory processes in terms of assessment and evaluation of the vaccines and speeding up the registration of vaccines made in other countries and also to deploy the vaccines,” Escalante stated.
Escalante also added that the Philippines should start planning its vaccine strategy, which would include which groups of people are prioritized to receive the first round of the vaccine.
Though being the first to get a vaccine may sound good, and people will likely feel like others are getting preferential treatment, it might not be something you want to race to get.
When speaking directly to leading medical staff in a Florida hospital, we discovered that the first round of vaccines may have catastrophic side effect because the race is on and the world is screaming for a vaccine, putting immense pressure of scientists and medical researchers to solve the problem.