The Problems Surrounding the Covid-19 Vaccine
As of May 21, 2020, there have been over five million cases of Covid-19 worldwide. This virus has become a pandemic, and a vaccine is needed desperately.
According to the New York Times, Oxford University has been conducting trials that seem promising, prompting the U.S Department of Health and Human Resources to give “up to $1.2 billion” to the company AstraZeneca to help develop the vaccine. They say that it could be ready as soon as September.
However, this claim leaves many skeptical. Creating a vaccine takes years, and needs to go through rigorous testing to be proven effective and safe. The virus itself has to be weakened enough to keep anyone from getting sick, tested, and then be used in at least three clinical trials.
Creating a vaccine this fast can bring complications into the mix, and may even reverse the progress that has been made.
A vaccine is needed desperately for this pandemic to end. With unemployment rates at an all time high, reaching almost 15%, the cost for the vaccine may be the breaking point. With pharmaceutical companies notorious for overcharging consumers, concern for the price of the Covid-19 vaccine has risen.
According to Business Insider, this thought was addressed in a letter that was written in February from 46 congressional Democrats. It was addressed to the President and the Department of Health and Human Services. It outlined the problems that allowing a private company to own the rights to the vaccine may cause.
The primary problem lies with the vaccine and its development. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a second wave of the virus is highly likely later this year. During an Economic Club of Washington webinar, he stated, "I'm almost certain it will come back, because the virus is so transmissible and it's globally spread.” This second wave of virus can be more deadly than the one the world is seeing now. It is estimated that it may come sometime in the fall, hopefully around when the vaccine will be completed.
Despite a vaccine on the way, it doesn't create an excuse for preventative measures to be ignored. Wear a mask when leaving the house, and practice social distancing. Defeating Covid-19 won't just need a vaccine, but the collective working of the population.