NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — As the coronavirus pandemic moves into its third month, millions around the globe have hung their hopes for an end to the disease on a vaccine. Yet, there’s a growing number of experts who say that hope, and the millions in research funds dedicated for a vaccine, may be misplaced.
They point out that there has never been a successful vaccine against any coronavirus, not SARS, MERS or common cold coronas. An envoy from the World Health Organization, who is a professor of global health at Imperial College London, told CNN that a COVID-19 vaccine may never be developed, CBS2’S Dr. Max Gomez reported Monday.
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Then there are the issues of cost, and whether billions of people across the globe should be vaccinated when the vast majority of people infected with this coronavirus survive with manageable, minimal, or no symptoms.
A growing number of doctors now argue that we should be spending far more on developing effective treatments for COVID-19. Remdesivir is an admittedly minor example of a treatment, and despite conflicting study results, hydroxychloroquine in combination with other drugs may also be effective.
Like with AIDS, which after decades still has no vaccine, a cocktail of drugs that inhibit coronavirus replication may be a much more targeted therapy, or an immunotherapy, which induces the body’s own defenses to overcome the virus. This would allow for a far more targeted therapeutic approach, treating only those who get sick, rather than vaccinating the entire global population.