The announcement on May 18 that a candidate vaccine for the coronavirus appeared to create an immune response in a handful of people sent spirits, and the stock market, soaring. President Trump has raised the far-fetched possibility that the COVID-19 pandemic could be ended by a vaccine as soon as the start of next year.
But infectious disease specialists and vaccine developers interviewed by Yahoo News said that even accepting the unpublished research at face value, it is unclear if or when an effective vaccine will be available. This uncertainty raises questions about whether the extreme social distancing measures in place in many parts of the country will continue indefinitely.
AstraZeneca (AZ) is thought to be leading the pack with their vaccine AZD1222. Their major clinical trial will recruit 30,000 participants – which is good.
The trial began on the 17th August and is predicted to finish Oct 5th 2022… how does that make sense then?
As you can see, even if all goes to plan, their study will not be completed until two years from now. Even after the trial is complete, they will need time to analyse the data, which will take a couple of months at least. Which means they are unlikely to have everything sorted before early 2023.
So people like Trump who were claiming, a few months ago, that a vaccine would be ready by September this year i.e. a month ago, would literally be a miracle!
As for studying deaths from COVID-19, this trial will not be looking at anything as tricky as that. Preventing deaths from COVID-19 is not an end-point they are aiming for, preventing deaths from COVID-19 is not even a secondary end-point for this trial either. So, whatever else we will find out, we are not going to know if AZD1222 saves any lives.
There are 3 phases of this trial:
- Phase I: Evaluate safety, determine safe dosage, identify side effects (in a small group of human volunteers, maybe twenty or thirty)
- Phase II: Test effectiveness, further evaluate safety (maybe a couple of hundred volunteers).
- Phase III: Confirm effectiveness, monitor side-effects, compare to other treatments (up to tens of thousands of volunteers).
With SARS-Cov-2 vaccines, they are not going to (and cannot) wait for Phase III trials to complete. Instead, they are planning to launch directly after (what would normally be called phase II trials) to finish.
The current plan is these vaccines will be launched after giving them to around fifty people – each. Which clearly means that we will have no idea if they prevent infection, hospitalisation, or death.
Plus, we won’t actually know if they are safe!
So from a health professional point of view, indiscriminately encouraging people to get vaccinated when all we have is Phase II studies to go on, is worrying and I am in all honesty concerned for the outcome.
So does that mean there’s nothing we can do to protect ourselves? Absolutely NOT! The entire premise of the ProLongevity service “Live Healthy for Longer” will massively reduce your COVID risks. For more on this click here https://www.prolongevity.co.uk/blog/coronavirus?rq=covid and also here www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwtlkUbsjYk&t=39s