When will a coronavirus vaccine be ready?

Several biotech companies are beginning clinical trials of vaccines and treatments as the coronavirus continues to spread at unprecedented rates worldwide.

When will a coronavirus vaccine be ready?
When will a coronavirus vaccine be ready
There’s this race across the globe to get to a vaccine.

Hearing different officials give us different numbers, different - vair I varying lengths of time far we are from that. The question that matters most to Americans is not when there will be a vaccine, but when there will be a vaccine that is approved for widespread use. What’s your best guesstimate on that now?

You know, there’s a lot of good news here. Biotech companies are working with governments and regulatory agencies and academia all around the world to get the vaccine done, to get therapeutics invented. The FDA in the U.S. Is working 24 hours a day, around the clock, making sure that experimental medicines get through the system, Existing medicines are getting emergency use exemptions to doctors have the tools they need to fight for people that are the most ill, people in the hospital, older people, pre-existing conditions. Chloroquine is undergoing solid research and being used in-clinic right now. You can’t base these things purely on anecdote. 

We are doing the right thing when it comes to testing. Similarly, whether it’s testing that shows positive or negative or whether it’s plasma antibody testing, those tests are sped forward. My guess relative to a vaccine is probably 10 months to a year. For vaccines, that’s pretty fast. I think there’s a solid cause for optimism.

Well, now there’s a race to the vaccine? You say that’s 10 to 12 months out. There are also these antibody tests that you mentioned. We keep hearing about them. Take a listen to Dr. Anthony Fauci, a couple of days ago, on these tests. I’ll get your reaction on the other side. Within a period of a week or so, we’re going to have a rather large number of tests that are available. These antibody tests are tests that we do on other diseases but they need to be validated. You need to make sure they’re consistent and they’re accurate. And that’s what we’re doing now. Both with the NIH and with the FDA. 

To unpack that a little bit for us. Talk to us in real speak about what this means for Americans?

What Dr. Fauci is saying you don’t want tests approved that are inaccurate. You want to expedite but not rush and that’s what’s happening right now and that takes an effort to make sure it’s happening and it is. But the importance of these antibody tests is it doesn’t necessarily show whether you’re positive or negative. It shows whether or not you’ve already had the disease and that’s important for two reasons. The first is the blood plasma, the antibodies for people who have come through to the other end of the tunnel might give patients a bit of immunity, which might make the course of the disease easier to handle. It will give us an idea of how many Americans have had the disease. That’s a key data point relative to when we can reopen our economy.

There’s this continuing saga for lack of a better word with hydroxychloroquine. President Trump keeps touting it and the task force briefings as and the task force briefings as a viable treatment? He wants more people to start using it. But a lot of medical experts say it hasn’t been tested enough. It’s been tested but not clinically. What’s your take on that? The data that’s out there right now is purely anecdotal. There’s no real solid science behind it that you can build a foundation 
On but we’re collecting it. 

Should it be used? I think doctors have the option to use it for their patients. An important point here is that this is a medicine that’s being used for patients with a chronic condition such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. We don’t want shortages. We don’t want people to demand these drugs. 85% of people that have covid-19 will ride it out at home with plenty of liquids and they won’t need chloroquine. Doctors have it as a tool for the most seriously ill patients who really need it to survive.

Sounds like risks therewith using hydroxychloroquine are not just to the users but concerns about causing a shortage for other medical patients who rely on it to stay healthy themselves, independently of covid-19 and the coronavirus.

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