Reports about two encouraging tests for a potential coronavirus vaccine surfaced this week. A “prototype vaccine [that] has protected monkeys from the virus” was reported yesterday (Wednesday, 5.20) in the N.Y. Times. Two days earlier (Monday, 5.18) another Times story reported that an experimental coronavirus vaccine administered by Moderna Therapeutics has shown promising early results with “a strong immune response” in “eight healthy volunteers.”
Months of expanded testing will follow, of course, but suddenly there seems to be a half-decent chance of an effective vaccine being ready for distribution by sometime early next year.
Safety is obviously an essential concern in the development of any such remedy, but what that really means is a fear of lawsuits if such a vaccine were to theoretically produce worrisome results among the most sickly portion of the population.
Wouldn’t it be great if the FDA could approve a coronavirus vaccine that would be safe for 90% or 95% of the population, but which the chronically frail and vulnerable would be advised to avoid? The above stories indicate that this kind of vaccine has probably been formulated. Unfortunately that’s not how the bureaucratic approval process works.