The Grapevine

Top HIV Scientist Says Coronavirus Vaccine Unlikely To Come Soon

The world continues to wait for a COVID-19 vaccine but it appears that getting one will take some time. This is despite the efforts of medical researchers and scientists to come up with one, hoping to fast-track a cure to address the rising number of coronavirus cases around the globe.

However, a top scientist believes that it would be best not to count on a COVID-19 vaccine coming out soon. He feels that governments should not rely heavily on one to address the current situation as far as trying to contain the coronavirus. William Haseltine is best known as the groundbreaking researcher behind cancer, HIV/AIDS and human genome projects, Reuters reported. For him, the better approach right now is to trace the COVID-19 origins and applying strict isolation measures to prevent the virus from spreading.

There have been multiple suggested COVID-19 vaccines reported but not one has made much progress. According to Haseltine, the best thing that people and agencies can do now is pinpoint areas where the coronavirus is spreading. Aside from that, he concurs with the recommended practices set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes always wearing a face covering, social distancing and practicing proper hygiene at all times.

Haseltine also singled out how China and other Asian countries were able to control the virus through these practices. He feels that the United States was unable to strictly enforce these measures, a reason why the virus continues to spread rapidly. Aside from the U.S., he also pointed how Brazil and Russia were among the countries that failed to adopt strict measures in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.

About the progress of coming up with a vaccine, experimental COVID-19 tests have hardly rendered good results. Animals have been tested with the experimental vaccines and the best it has done is to reduce the viral load. However, the infections remained, according to Haseltine.

People who have recovered from COVID-19 are also doing their share to help ramp up efforts of coming up with a COVID-19 vaccine. They are donating their antibody-rich plasma to aid in treatments. Drug companies are also benefitting from these donations to come up with a working serum.

Despite the comments of Haseltine, the race to come up with a COVID-19 vaccine continues. According to NPR, it would take global cooperation to come up with one. It is a long and complicated process where multiple vaccines with varying effects are likely to come out, per Prashant Yadav, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.

"So I think what is most likely going to happen is that we would have a number of vaccines with slightly varying efficacy profile characteristics around the same time, and then it will be a question of which vaccine does the global convergence circle around or do countries and health systems start paying attention to one or two as compared to just everyone scrambling to get the one vaccine," he said.

COVID-19 Vaccine The FDA approved Moderna's phase II clinical trial to test out their vaccine candidate called mRNA-1273, after the success of phase I. Pixabay

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