Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, discusses the need to take a grounded approach when discussing plans for the introduction of vaccine immunity against COVID-19.
Countries around the world have worked proactively to stockpile vaccines against COVID-19. The United States is committing over $1 billion for an agreement with Johnson & Johnson alone, while investing in other vaccines as well. Sanofi and GSK also secured a deal with the US government, for example.
Scientists are assessing a half-dozen different vaccine platforms for the unique demands of SARS-CoV-2 prophylaxis: RNA/DNA vaccines, recombinant protein vaccines, vectored vaccines, inactivated vaccines, and live attenuated vaccines.
Operation Warp Speed, the accelerated vaccine development program, has set ambitious goals and the sense of urgency is likely to advance progress at a rapid pace. A vaccine may even be available by the fall, according to health officials. But there are concerns about the safety and efficacy if a vaccine is rolled out too quickly.
Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, talked to Contagion about the crucial difference between developing an effective vaccine and achieving vaccine level immunity through widespread uptake.