What I’m Thinking About: A Vaccine
While this has been a nice little run we’ve had at home, I think you can tell from my email yesterday that I’d like to get back to normal life. Even if we have massive amount of testing, life as we knew it probably isn’t going to return until we have a vaccine. So, where are we on that? Here are the top four efforts towards a vaccine that I can tell:
- Moderna. A Boston-based biotech unicorn, they started on their vaccine back in Jan – way ahead of the game. Their vaccine slips RNA into human cells and tells them to produce the the needed defenses. Sounds sweet. Apparently, RNA technology can move faster into trials but then again there’s never been an approved RNA vaccine yet for any disease, so there’s that.
- Pfizer hopes to get an experimental RNA vaccine into humans later this month. Instead of testing the single vaccine, they are planning to move into human trials with four different options simultaneously, to see which one is the most successful before going to bigger populations.
- Sanofi hopes to begin human trials of its first vaccine, which uses the protein technology of its Flublok flu vaccine, by fall.
- Johnson & Johnson is working off a vaccine platform the company used for experimental vaccines for Ebola, Zika, and RSV. They’re a big dog, but seem the most out of it but, hey, who knows.
These are the top 4 but apparently 30 companies are in the race. (full list)
Even if one of these companies come up with it, there’s a need to get a TON of vaccines made. If you count doctors, nurses, and other first responders as well as infants, toddlers, and pregnant women, that’s 26 million people, you you’ll probably need at least 100 million out of the gates.
So, while there’s some good action happening, nothing seems like it’ll be ready for another year or so. Last Tuesday, Anthony Fauci told US senators, “It will take at least a year and a half to have a vaccine we can use.” That’s end of summer 2021. If true, it would actually set a record as most vaccines take between five and 15 years to come to market.
That means, between now and then, we’ll have some combination of social distancing, mass testing, and hoping for herd immunity.
So, we could be here a while.
I’ve noticed that for the past three days the number of new cases has been decreasing – both the world counts and US. At first I thought it was just the weekend numbers which are typically lower but then Monday’s came in low too. Experts had said that the peak should be right around now, so maybe that is indeed happening.
The French airforce gave a retiring contractor a joyride in a fighter. He accidentally ejected. That’s just the beginning.
Here’s a husband and wife team surviving the lockdown by crushing some lipsyncs. It’s These two comedians (Rachel Parris and Marcus Brigstocke) needed a challenge and it resulted in the trending hashtag #LockdownLipsync.
Only 64 more days to go