When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that a COVID-19 vaccine could arrive as early as October, they were met with a nearly unanimous hedging effort on behalf of the medical community.
Two short months later, academic confidence in a vaccine is extremely high, while tech stocks in companies that thrive off of the telework movement, like Zoom and Peloton Interactive, take massive blows in reaction.
Skepticism is a fair position to take on anything in 2020, but Moderna and Pzier have accomplished historic breakthroughs in vaccinology research. Both pharmaceutical companies have produced doses that evidence a 95% efficacy rate. Moderna’s latest trial revealed that no one in their study samples, who received two shots of their candidate, developed a serious bout of COVID.
“It looks like almost all the vaccines are going to succeed,” Microsoft founder, Bill Gates said earlier today. “The next four or five months look pretty grim but by spring, we’ll be headed back to normal. It’s going to be tricky because the federal government has abdicated some of its responsibilities in a public health crisis, but overall I think we will get it all out.”
Unsurprisingly, Gates has been the target of your garden variety conspiracy accusations since the start of the pandemic, despite having donated more than $400 million to the development of countermeasures and therapeutics.
Additionally, the magnate has contributed to coronavirus reports published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Based on his former experience on the front lines of infectious disease outbreaks, Gates contends that all of the candidates that passed phase 3 of their clinical trials will be successful.
Thanks to new mRNA technology, which facilitates the process by which cells make proteins and send them to various parts of the body, Moderna and Pfizer have been able to expedite the trial process.
The next obstacle is building trust among Americans fearful of vaccine side effects and pressure placed on manufacturers to cut corners. Gates believes he can be of assistance here too.
“We know how to work with governments, we know how to work with pharma, we’ve thought about this scenario,” Gates said in the New York Times. “We need — at least in terms of expertise and relationships — to play a very, very key role here.”
The CDC will require two doses of the coronavirus vaccine to be administered a few weeks apart at hospitals, mobile clinics, and any institution that can support easy access to the first targeted recipients listed above.
The general public can expect a vaccine by the Spring of next year, and health care professionals, essential workers, long-term care facility residents, and staff, national security populations, seniors, Native Americans, the incarcerated, and people from racial and ethnic minority populations have been deem priorities by health systems.