What if a COVID-19 Vaccine Is Never Developed?

H ello! Toh kaise hai aap sab? Chaliye shuru kartey hain….. COVID-19 is one of the largest and most immediate threats to human life in the modern day, with millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths to its name. It seems like every day we learn frightening new facts about the disease, like its extreme contagiousness, or its apparent ability to cause massive strokes in some of its victims. But, for many there’s a light at the end of the tunnel:

The COVID-19 vaccine that will grant us all immunity from this terrifying virus. But, we’re sorry to report that actually getting an effective vaccine for COVID-19 isn’t necessarily in the cards. That’s right — like a lot of the most dangerous and complicated problems facing humanity today, the hope for a simple, silver-bullet answer to our problems might just be a futile and even dangerous fantasy. You’ll likely see countless articles about the various vaccine development projects across the globe, and how all of these tests are claiming to be standing on the doorstep of a major breakthrough. However, experts like Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy, think that news like this is building dangerous false hopes among the public. The idea that a vaccine will definitely be developed and available in the next several months has led many to underestimate the virus, both in terms of its immediate negative effects and its potential to infect even wider swathes of the global population. Even if we do get lucky and find a workable vaccine, the battle would be far from over. In Osterholm’s own words, “even if we had a vaccine that showed some evidence of protection by September, we are so far from having a vaccine in people’s arms,” as global development and rollout would likely be a wildly uneven nightmare. And even that feels optimistic compared to the possibility that a vaccine might always continue to evade us. Today, I’am going to explore that worst-case scenario: The fact we may never see an effective vaccine for this virus, why this might be the case, and what a future where COVID-19 is never fully wiped out could look like.

First, with so much seemingly positive news about vaccine development breaking every day, why might all of this come to nothing? After all, we’ve come up with successful vaccines for horrific viruses in the past, like Smallpox and Polio, so why not COVID-19? Well, this situation is a lot more complicated than most of the general public currently understands. The degree to which a virus is amenable to an effective vaccine has less to do with the symptomatic traits of the virus, and more to do with — as veteran researcher Adolfo García-Sastre puts it — the “specific characteristics of how read more

Originally published at https://www.jammukilife.online.

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