Scientists around the world are hastily working on a coronavirus vaccine. German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Friday that he expects the vaccine to be ready by “early next year.” The press, however, doubts that the virus will be defeated easily and quickly — and that we will soon heal as before, without any restrictions.
Perhaps we are waiting in vain?
It may be that, even with the vaccine, there will still be a need for certain restrictions, such concerns are expressed by The Irish Independent:
“Even if we develop a vaccine that is 70 percent effective and 80 percent of older people get it, it would still mean that only 56 percent of them will be protected from COVID. … If the vaccine protects only half of us all, then among people over 80, the death rate will still be about seven percent. So will the vaccine be the watershed moment so much talked about today? … Do we need to keep us in a lockdown situation until next summer, if later it turns out that the vaccine still does not allow us to completely abandon quarantine? This issue needs to be discussed.”
Overboard patients at risk
The ongoing clinical trials, unfortunately, say nothing about whether the tested substances will help people from special risk groups, writes the Times of Malta:
“Those who need protection the most, that is, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems (such as patients undergoing chemotherapy), are not included in the current third phase of clinical trials. This is common practice when recruiting volunteers for clinical trials. … But this means that the conclusions to be drawn regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine may not necessarily be valid for populations excluded from the studies. … Ultimately, the effectiveness of a vaccine can only be determined when the entire population is vaccinated. Thus, trials of a coronavirus vaccine could take years and years.”