Posted by: Dr Churchill | July 27, 2020

Be Patient, because Herd Immunity is nothing but a successful vaccine by any other name…

Herd immunity is the most aspirational and hopeful outcome of this pandemic, now that we know how much poorer the prospects are for a breakthrough vaccine.

Because even if we had a vaccine that somehow worked — which is a big IF — that would only be the beginning of our trials and tribulations and by no means, the end.

Mainly because biologically speaking — a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus is unlikely to offer anything that resembles complete protection from the virus…

And even if by some miracle — we could actually develop aa successful vaccine made from segments of this fast & furiously mutating Wuhan Coronavirus — we would still be facing a logistic nightmare that would pit manufacturers who will have to make hundreds of millions of doses relying on technology never before tested or even used in vaccine production ever before, versus the competing civilian & military industries vying for control of the basic supplies to manufacture, transport and deliver these doses safely to the bodies of the people.

It is the little things that matter — such as glass vials, syringes, prepackaged loaded epipens, and all such minutia that needs to be cross-checked, referenced and delivered in a timely manner by the end of the Summer…

Then the federal government will have to allocate the available doses based on a logical system of priorities, perhaps through a patchwork of state and local health departments with no existing infrastructure for vaccinating adults at any scale, so they would have to fall back to the health clinics, hospitals, HMOs and the private GPs, Doctors, Nurses and Phlebotomists in an ad hoc fashion…

Naturally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the one organization that has led vaccine distribution efforts in the past, has been strikingly absent in discussions so far—a worrying sign that the leadership failures that have characterized the American pandemic could also hamper this process.

To complicate it all, upwards of 40% of all Americans already say that they will refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccine, and with another 40% percent unsure — reaching herd immunity through vaccination, could be far more difficult than what the so called experts like my errant friend Bill Gates and all other “Johnny-Come-Latelys” are claiming.

Yet we must look at the sunny side of life and to that end — the good news is that the Real Medical Experts think, that there will be a COVID-19 vaccine some time in the near future. However, when that would be, is anybody’s guess…

Because indeed the Wuhan Coronavirus that causes COVID-19 does not seem to be an outlier like HIV and therefore is an easier virus to use genetic biology upon it for vaccine production purposes.

And since Life Scientists have gone from the discovery of the genetic make-up of this Coronavirus to more than 165 candidate vaccines in record time, with 27 vaccines already in the early stages of human trials — we have great hopes for the introduction of the vaccines to the general population after the prerequisite three to five years of development through the clinicals.

The three to five years estimate is far more optimistic than the regular Ten to Twenty years that the conservative manufacturers of vaccines estimate it takes for any New vaccine to come into existence, because human trials consist of at least three phases: Phase One — safety, Phase Two — early efficacy and dosing, and Phase Three — efficacy in tens of thousands of people.

Surprisingly, at this moment, due to the “Moonshot” efforts and the huge amounts of capital spent on this — at least six COVID-19 vaccines are about to enter Phase 3 trials, which will take from several months to several years to complete…

And since we are about nine months into this pandemic and probably another nine months to a couple of years away, from developing a safe and effective vaccine, assuming that the clinical trials work out perfectly — we will still have several more months of significant infection or at least risk of infection to look forward to and that places our troubles straight into the 2021-22 season and beyond…

And how long that “beyond” will be, depend on the choice & efficacy of the chosen vaccine, the success in delivering hundreds of millions of doses of the same, and the willingness of people to get it. Yet because it is difficult to contemplate the success of the vaccine development efforts, the logistics of delivery, and the effects of the vaccine towards ‘Herd Immunity” — much suffering still lays ahead.

Indeed, it is comforting to think about the promise of a vaccine, and that’s why the Good Doctor says this: “Let us indulge ourselves in that promise…”

Screen Shot 2020-07-26 at 10.18.42 PM

So all of you who think that the Covid-19 will disappear if and when the Presidential voting is over in November — maybe you ought to change your tune, and reassess the situation.

Yours,

Dr Churchill

PS:

We will need solid leadership for the foreseeable future and that is why I threw my hat into the ring to contest this coming Bipolar election that threatens to scupper our Republic and toss all of us into the having waters of a Civil War that will surely make this epidemic look like a child’s sniffles.

And at any rate, what all of this means, is that we may have to endure far more time under the threat of the Wuhan coronavirus than the time that we have already survived with it.

It is also important to keep in mind that without the measures that have beat back the virus in much of Europe and Asia, there will continue to be more outbreaks, more school closings, more loneliness, more deaths ahead, because if and when a vaccine becomes available — it will only mark the beginning of a long, slow slog towards a measure of herd immunity that is at any rate inevitable with or without a vaccine in the space of two to three years.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: