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What if we can’t find a successful vaccine?

(118 Posts)
LegoBloodyHurts Mon 13-Apr-20 21:32:43

Does it concern anyone else the possibility we may not be able to find a successful vaccine for this?

It’s a scary prospect, but not entirely unreasonable, given we still haven’t cured some other viruses with years of research.

OP’s posts: |
justanotherneighinparadise Mon 13-Apr-20 21:34:41

I think the other viruses you’re speaking off aren’t so lethal so perhaps haven’t had the same financial investment or incentive that this one will have. We have to find a vaccine to continue modern life as we know it. So I think there will be one.

LegoBloodyHurts Mon 13-Apr-20 21:36:23

I certainly hope you are right, and that we do find a vaccine. I can’t see any other way out of this mess.

OP’s posts: |
XylophoneSymphony Mon 13-Apr-20 21:37:02

Even if they can’t find a vaccine there will likely be some kind of treatment moving forwards with something antiviral
Most likely that they will be able to make a vaccine and it will be a yearly thing alongside the flu vaccine

Actionhasmagic Mon 13-Apr-20 21:37:08

They will find one but will take a long time

StrawberryBlondeStar Mon 13-Apr-20 21:37:10

We will have to get “herd immunity”. After several years (and a lot of deaths) it would then become something like measles (pre-vaccine) (most people would get in childhood) and would be mild, but some would get seriously ill and die.

StrawberryBlondeStar Mon 13-Apr-20 21:38:09

That’s worst case scenario - I am confident there will be a vaccine or treatment.

justanotherneighinparadise Mon 13-Apr-20 21:41:43

I’m not sure you can get herd immunity with a virus that mutates. We’re still learning about this virus and until we have more data I don’t think they’ll know the best way to tackle it.

Moondust001 Mon 13-Apr-20 22:13:26

There are very few viral diseases for which we do not have vaccines. And even for those that we can't vaccinate against, broadly speaking there are relatively effective treatment regimes for almost all of them. Either way, in due course we will undoubtedly be ok. Those who probably won't be will be those in poor countries and poor communities with inadequate or non-existent health care. There is no vaccine for the HIV virus, but advances in treatment have changed the landscape in the UK. Remember when it was a really scary thing?? 22 million Africans have HIV/AIDS, and more than a million men, women and children die of AIDS every year in Africa. Not because those deaths can't be prevented, but because they cannot afford the treatments necessary. Almost certainly this will become a similar story - we will have the vaccine or the treatment, but millions won't.

peppersneezes000 Mon 13-Apr-20 22:38:28

I'd be more worried about the rush to get the vaccine out to the public.... Who knows in years to come if it causes asthma or cancer... Hope they take their time to trial it properly but if there is any terrible side effects they won't be known until years from now when we've all been vaccinated.....

Namechange2306 Mon 13-Apr-20 22:41:41

I think herd immunity will be the first port of call.

SouthsideOwl Mon 13-Apr-20 22:46:06

'I think the other viruses you’re speaking off aren’t so lethal'

Just to clarify, SARS1 and Ebola were more lethal than Covid. This just affects more people and statistically if more people get it then more will die, but the virus itself isn't more lethal than those.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Mon 13-Apr-20 22:47:15

The whole globe is trying to figure out a vaccine, someone will find it.

justanotherneighinparadise Mon 13-Apr-20 22:49:54

@SouthsideOwl I think that’s what I meant. This is affecting the global population. It’s going to cause a global recession. We need to find a way of controlling it, so it will have every resource thrown at it I’m sure.

SliAnChroi Mon 13-Apr-20 22:50:50

I think we will get a vaccine. There is a great deal of collaboration which is not usual.

In the meantime, when more people have recovered, could they start giving plasma with antibodies to people admitted to hospital? I don't know the ins and outs, like how hard is it to get plasma from a donation of blood and how much would be needed, but IN THEORY is it a solution just to save the very sickest people??

Sunshinegirl82 Mon 13-Apr-20 23:06:16

I understand it’s been mooted that they will start production of the most promising vaccine candidates before all of the tests are concluded so that as soon as one comes up to scratch it will be available to (at least a proportion of) the population.

It’s cheaper to fund the production of several vaccines that are not ultimately effective than it is to take the continued hit to the economy. I honestly think they will throw everything at this and we’ll have a vaccine much more quickly than people anticipate. Might just be wishful thinking but I’m hopeful!

hopsalong Mon 13-Apr-20 23:07:25

I feel dispirited about this too. A large part of the whole globe has been trying to find an HIV vaccine since the 80s -- where are we with that? No coronavirus has a vaccine. That may be because vaccines teach the body to imitate the immune response of someone who's recovered from the virus. We already know that many people who are diagnosed with covid-19 produce minimal antibodies. There is now more-than-anecdotal evidence of swift reinfection from South Korea. The four endemic coronaviruses (229e, NL63, HKU1, OC43) infect people frequently, even every year, and produce immunity that lasts for only a few months. This virus appears to be more deadly, but otherwise similar. SARS and MERS, which were much more deadly, only produced immunity lasting for a couple of years. Scientists might be more motivated to produce a vaccine for covid-19 than SARS, but maybe (I am no biologist) some of the basic challenges remain. A vaccine was produced for SARS that led to antibody production in animals. BUT, when rechallenged with the virus, more vaccinated than unvaccinated animals died because their immune systems over-responded. The same thing was seen in the past in attempts to develop an RSV vaccine among infants. So the vaccine was counter-productive.

Why will covid-19 be different? I hope it will, but it seems optimistic to have faith that a mass, universally effective (incl. among elderly, i.e. high risk populations) vaccine is going to arrive in the next year or so. I'm more hopeful that better anti-viral treatments will emerge and that doctors in critical care (and beforehand) will become better at managing and treating this disease with oxygen, ventilation etc. That still leaves a lot of people who will die, even if we stay in lockdown for the entire time.

aliasname Mon 13-Apr-20 23:08:15

We have not managed to get a vaccine for any other coronaviruses (common cold, SARS, MERS)

SARS just disappeared on its own; MERS is still around but much less contagious than Covid-19 (although it has quite a high mortality rate)

As for natural immunity, we have no idea. It could be like chickenpox ~ once you've had it, most people have lifelong immunity. Or it could be like tetanus, which requires repeated vaccinations as immunity wears off. It could mutate slightly every year and become endemic like the common cold. It could just die off like SARS.

Even if we can't find a vaccine, there are some hopeful treatments being tested right now.

StrawberryBlondeStar Mon 13-Apr-20 23:08:24

@Sunshinegirl82 Bill Gates said he will fund 7 factories to research and make the most promising vaccines. He accepts many will not succeed, but a couple should be ok and there will be no delay in manufacturing them.

LilacTree1 Mon 13-Apr-20 23:08:38

I’m worried about them rushing out a vaccine.

Frompcat Mon 13-Apr-20 23:11:33

The reason there is no SARS and MERS vaccine is we stopped trying to find one once it became clear we could control the diseases without one.

Greysparkles Mon 13-Apr-20 23:15:36

I won't be a lab rat for a vaccine, I'd rather take my chances tbh.

But then like I said, I'm high risk for catching it anyway, it's not a matter of if. Its when

Laniakea Mon 13-Apr-20 23:27:24

hopsalong I feel much the same - not sure if you've read this but it is interesting & talks about the enhancement effect where vaccination can make disease worse

I'm not pinning hopes on a vaccine - even if an effective one was developed quickly the logistics of producing & administering enough doses to control the disease globally are just mind boggling.

I hope they discover/develop treatments, I think we're going to have to find a way of living with it.

hopsalong Mon 13-Apr-20 23:36:07

Yes, @Laniakea, thank you! I read that this morning after starting to follow Marc Lipsitch (funny autocorrect there to lipstick) last month, and it informed whatever ideas I have.

I also think now (I didn't a few weeks ago) that we need to get out there quite soon and get on with it before we have to do exactly the same thing in six months time, but in a totally fucked-over version of the previous world. (Very anxious about idea that November election in US will be corrupted by Trump supporters blithely going to vote in person under his say-so as Democrats stay at home.)

Let's keep hoping.

Angellegna Mon 13-Apr-20 23:37:39

The Oxford professor developing the vaccine said two days ago that there’s an 80% chance that the first wave of people (very vulnerable) will be able to have it in September.

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