Despite botching policy response to COVID - UK Vaccine trials are doing well!

in #covid2 months ago

Some excellent reporting here.

Key points:

The Oxford virus, made by inserting SARS-CoV-2 spike RNA into a chimp virus (so it can't infect humans) is driving both T-cell and antibody reactions in first-round patients. Side effects are headache and fever, so it may be routine to administer it with a day's worth of Tylenol.

This is already in phase 3 trials in the UK, with more opening in the US and other countries. One upside to our out of control epidemic is that we're a great test ground for vaccines, vs. countries where it's hard to get a statistically valid sample of infected people. :-(

There are discussions about challenge trials, where volunteers are intentionally exposed to live virus or placebo, to get a better, faster read on effectiveness. Obviously, there are ethical issues.

The article includes a stunning chart of just how many vaccine candidates are in development or testing. Mind blowing.

The UK government is doing a Very Good Thing by ordering, sight unseen, huge quantities of vaccines from several developers even if they don't work. This gives private companies the financial incentive to go big on their efforts, even if it looks like they won't be first to market. We need a lot of candidates because vaccines are so hit-and-miss in the development stages.

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