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Treatment versus vaccine(6 Posts)
I read a lot about how we can’t go back to “normal” without a vaccine. That reasonably enough takes anything from many months to many years to develop much less manufacture and administer. So far so depressing. But there’s trials of drug treatments going on, admittedly some sounding more promising than others, that are apparently reporting initial data much quicker than that. So hypothetically one of those drugs, or a combination of, combined with better understanding over time of the virus, different protocols on ventilation etc, could result in much lower death rates and reduced hospital stays. Is it then plausible, if we have effective or even somewhat effective treatments, that we could go back to whatever decimated fragments remain of normal life even without a vaccine? Or have I misunderstood? Am I just looking for false hope? Not a doctor or a scientist, but puzzled by the focus on vaccination over treatments.
No, you're right - hopefully treatments will also play a big part in this in the future. There was a good article in the Guardian about this yesterday:
Yes, an effective treatment would allow us to get back to normal much quicker if found- but it’s very unclear if we will find one. It seems to be thought more likely that we will find a vaccine, though that too is pretty speculative.
I think that a treatment, or a combination of treatments, will be found that at least help with symptoms, thereby giving the patient's immune system more time to make an effective response.
All of these things will be important - physical distancing, treatments, a vaccine - in the long run.
Treatments may be found to better manage the symptoms. Huge screening tests are ongoing on drugs that are already available.
As Scottishgirl85 has said all anti-virals, both those already licensed or in clinical trials, are being screened to see if they could be effective treatments. Personally (I work in pharma) I think we'll get treatments before we get a vaccine, because testing the efficacy of an already licensed drug for a new indication will be much faster than developing an effective vaccine.
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