No Guarantee COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Developed, Virus May Remain ‘Constant Threat’
While researchers around the globe are racing to create a vaccine for the COVID-19 coronavirus, David Nabarro, a professor of global health at Imperial College London and a World Health Organization (WHO) envoy on COVID-19, said recently that there is no guarantee that a successful vaccine will be developed.
“You don’t necessarily develop a vaccine that is safe and effective against every virus,” Nabarro told The Observer in an interview published Saturday.
“Some viruses are very, very difficult when it comes to vaccine development — so for the foreseeable future, we are going to have to find ways to go about our lives with this virus as a constant threat,” Nabarro added.
“That means isolating those who show signs of the disease and also their contacts. Older people will have to be protected. In addition, hospital capacity for dealing with cases will have to be ensured. That is going to be the new normal for us all,” he continued.
Nabarro’s comments come as former UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that international governments must cooperate with each other on health issues and that richer countries should support the health infrastructure of less developed countries.
“I think global health security is going to be on that small but critical list of topics like climate change that we can only solve in partnership with other countries,” Hunt told The Observer for its Saturday article.
According to the WHO, there are more than 60 potential vaccine options and treatments for the coronavirus. Last week, US President Donald Trump announced that the US would withhold funding to the WHO because the organization allegedly conspired with China to conceal the truth about COVID-19 during the early stages of the outbreak.
“Surely the lesson of coronavirus is cure not kill … It certainly does not mean cutting their funding” to the WHO, Hunt told The Observer.
“One of the big lessons from this will be that when it comes to health systems across the world, we are only as strong as the weakest link in the chain. Although China has rightly been criticized for covering up the virus in the early stages, the situation would have been [a] whole lot worse if this had started in Africa. International cooperation and supporting health care systems of the poorest countries has to be a top priority in terms of the lessons we need to learn,” he added.
The latest data from Worldometer reveals that almost 2.5 million cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide. Nearly 169,000 people have died due to the virus.