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Any virologists on here? I have a question

(18 Posts)
zafferana Thu 30-Apr-20 12:41:47

If the common cold is a coronavirus and no vaccine has ever been created for the common cold (because it mutates too quickly), can a vaccine even be developed for this new coronavirus and how effective will it be?

No one has asked this question AFAIK and it's something that really concerns me, particularly for all those very vulnerable people out there. We are all holding out the hope that a vaccine can be developed, manufactured and rolled out worldwide, but if people who has already had Covid-19 aren't necessarily immune to it now I am concerned that any vaccine will be of limited use.

Can anyone with knowledge of this virus/others like it shed any light on this? TIA

OP’s posts: |
SluggishSnail Thu 30-Apr-20 12:49:59

Look here:

Not all common colds are coronavirus, there are other viruses too and also lots of different substrains.

Common cold is really a very large collection of different illness with similar symptoms, hence the difficulty in developing a vaccine.

ChippityDoDa Thu 30-Apr-20 13:01:12

Get ready for all the armchair virologists OP. Not sure you’ll get any real ones.

Keepdistance Thu 30-Apr-20 13:04:47

There are vax for animal coronaviruses.

It may well have to be yearly.
But if it's enough to slow it down.
Once 60% immune or vax it will slow a lot.
Also once key workers have had it and the people with thousandsvof contacts.
There are a lot of old rich people so theres incentive for a vax.
Imagine otherwise the Queen cant really come out again. (Though charles might be ok.)

Plus loads of movie stars who want to make movies but cant and businesses. Imagine all the restaurant and leisure.if over 50-60yo and all shielded and vulnerable stay home

pocketem Thu 30-Apr-20 13:10:14

No one has asked this question AFAIK
Lol, people everywhere were asking this question as far back as December

pocketem Thu 30-Apr-20 13:17:01

From a virologist:

I’m a virologist & investor... & I’m hearing people say it’s impossible to make covid vaccine b/c we haven’t been able to make one to any coronaviruses. Not true. We have veterinary vaccines for dog & cow strains. Human one’s not been investment-worthy, until now. Here’s why.

There are 4 coronavirus strains that circulate amongst humans causing nothing more than mild colds in most people. They stimulate a modest immune response- enough to get over an infection and leave you protected for about a year, maybe more. But eventually antibodies wane, and that’s when you become susceptible to reinfection by same virus.

So why haven’t we developed a vaccine against these 4 coronavirus strains? We could take it every year and protect ourselves against colds, right? That’s a nice idea but most colds are caused by other viruses.

Our four standard human coronaviruses only cause 20% of colds. Colds are mostly caused by rhinoviruses, RSV, parainfluenza virus (not same as influenza), and other viruses we haven’t even identified yet. They are all so different that each would require a different vaccine.

So while we could have made a coronavirus vaccine (which really would have had to be four vaccines, one for each strain), the trouble is that it would have only helped protect you against 20% of the viruses that cause colds.

Even if it reduced your risk of suffering a coronavirus-mediated cold by 75%, that would cut the risk of any cold by only 15% (75% of 20%).

The commercial product people want is not a coronavirus common cold vaccine. They want a COMMON COLD vaccine that protects them against most of their risk. For that, vaccine would have to protect against most cold viruses (and we don’t even know what causes 30% of colds).

[And even if we could develop a universal cold vaccine, it wouldn't be widely used] because 1) it’s just a cold, 2) your insurance would probably make you pay a copay to nudge you into not taking it, 3) people have needles, and here’s the clincher... Anti-vaxxers would tell you that it causes horrors. Some people would get diagnosed with, let’s say, MS or cancer a few days after they got the vaccine simply because that happens to some people by chance at random... it’s a coincidence but anti-vaxxers would blame the vaccine.

But Covid is different. It’s serious, more so than the flu. So we’ll develop a vaccine for it just as we have for the flu and dog/cow coronaviruses. It might cost a few billion dollars across a dozen different programs, but there will be a market.

Just as Sanofi, GSK, & several others companies compete on price & still make billions each year supplying the world with a constantly evolving yet affordable flu vaccine (usually $10-20), similarly industry can develop & supply world w/ a covid vaccine. Maybe even mix it w/ annual flu shot for convenience.

Covid is so technically doable, we already have vaccines for dog & cow coronaviruses. We’ll definitely make one for covid, trials will be simple since we’ll be specifically trying to prevent Covid, which is only caused by SARS-CoV-2 (not by dozen different viruses).

zafferana Thu 30-Apr-20 19:36:12

Thank you @pocketem! That's the kind of answer I was looking for. And maybe, as a virologist, you've heard this question asked many times, but I'm not a virologist and I haven't heard anyone debating this on the news or in one of the interminable press conferences that happen every day where people regularly ask the kind of questions that no one knows the answer to at the moment. But I figured that someone who knows their shit would know the answer to this - and bingo! You did.

OP’s posts: |
pocketem Thu 30-Apr-20 20:26:19

No problem. I'm not the author, it's from.a virologist on twitter

aerosocks Thu 30-Apr-20 20:43:34

That's the most straightforward, sensible and logical thing I've read for weeks.

BooseysMom Thu 30-Apr-20 21:06:21

Dr Chris Smith, consultant virologist, is regularly on Radio 2 and last week when asked by Jeremy Vine if this virus would mutate to a less dangerous type, he answered along the lines that it wouldn't therefore a vaccine is going to have to be developed soonest.

DobbyTheHouseElk Thu 30-Apr-20 21:14:34

I think the way they are making the virus it will kill off the arms the virus cell has. In a basic way of explaining.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Thu 30-Apr-20 21:47:49

There is another basic issue with this Coronavirus. We don’t know how long immunity lasts so we don’t know how effective a vaccine will be.
Have a look at Chris Witty’s Lecture today from about 60 mins and he talks a bit about immunity and vaccines.

Sunshinegirl82 Thu 30-Apr-20 22:12:48

The Oxford vaccine is using a different virus wearing a sort of coronavirus jacket for their vaccine. The base virus promotes a stronger immune response than a coronavirus usually does and so they are hoping the vaccine will be more effective than catching the virus in promoting immunity. Obviously it has to work but that’s the idea.

noego Fri 01-May-20 09:31:46

The best vaccine would be to stop eating wild animals. Period.

How many of these viruses have to appear before we take action at the source??

Monty27 Fri 01-May-20 09:36:23

31noego ofgs here we 🙄

7Days Fri 01-May-20 09:45:09

I already don't eat wild animals.

But I'll take a vaccine while I wait for everyone else to catch up!

Less facetiously, eating wild animals is something that happens in poverty stricken areas, out of necessity. Even when abject poverty fades, it takes a couple of generations for the practice to fall away. A Just Like Momma Used To Make mentality I suppose.

dadandtwokids Fri 01-May-20 09:51:42

Actually you would have to stop eating all animals? Remember Swine Flu? Mad Cow Disease?

Best not to get too close to pets either...

Quartz2208 Fri 01-May-20 09:55:38

money must be a part of this - there is no need to spend time and money vaccinating against the common cold as for the most part it is harmless

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