The COVID 19 Vaccine Timeline: Where Are We Now?
It’s reported there have been over 2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US.
Over 129,000 people in the US have passed away due to the virus, and many are still struggling with its effects. There’s constant debate over the effectiveness of masks, social distancing, and shutting down businesses.
People everywhere are hoping for a vaccine, and many scientists are working day and night to produce one. Since the virus is so new, it’s hard to say when we will have a vaccine ready to go.
If you’re wanting to know more about a COVID-19 vaccine timeline, keep reading below.
What Do We Know About the Virus?
COVID-19 is a global virus that easily spreads, and it’s symptoms range from mild to extreme. Because of that, it has struck a lot of fear. No one knows how their body will react if they contract the virus.
It’s spread by coming into close contact with someone who has the virus, droplets from coughs and sneezes, and touching objects that have the virus on it. To prevent these things from happening, many cities have enforced social distancing and the wearing of masks.
The CDC recommends staying at home as much as possible, ordering your groceries online, and not hanging out in large groups. If you do want to grab a coffee or eat food from your favorite restaurant, look into takeout options!
As people do their best to avoid spreading the virus, they’re also growing impatient while waiting for a Coronavirus vaccine. There’s no confirmed vaccine for this virus.
What’s the Vaccine Process Like?
Unfortunately, the process of discovering and putting out a vaccine is more than just a quick success in the lab. You have to also consider the various trials, manufacturing, and distribution in the process.
The multiple phases of testing include small groups being vaccinated with the trial treatment, and it then moves on to testing the vaccine on people who show symptoms for whom the vaccine is intended. Lastly, it’s tested on large numbers of people to confirm the safety.
Most vaccines will continue to be studied even after the initial distribution process. Before it’s even widely distributed, the FDA must give the final stamp of approval.
As you can see, it’s no quick answer when searching for and receiving a vaccine of any kind. There are many underlying layers of concern we don’t think about. These layers include learning how to refrigerate the virus while testing, inspecting the safety of all manufacturing plants, and navigating the best way possible to distribute the vaccine.
If you’re curious about the refrigeration of the virus, check out these refrigeration guidelines.
How Long is the COVID-19 Vaccine Timeline?
Some researchers and scientists are remaining optimistic and hoping we will have a vaccine in about 18 months. Some eyebrows raised in response to this estimate because many vaccines have taken over 10 years for full approval and distribution.
One positive to all this is a large amount of research has already taken place. A large number of cases is, of course, saddening, but researchers have worked quickly to collect knowledge about the virus from many of the sick and deceased patients.
While less than 10% of drugs are approved by the FDA in the end, dozens of clinics have already started testing possible vaccines. While most of them will fail, it’s better to test a ton than give up hope completely.
For the researchers who can’t possibly imagine a vaccine by summer 2021, they are more comfortable saying a vaccine will hopefully be ready by 2022. This seems like a lifetime right now, but we must stay hopeful.
What’s Holding Us Back?
You may be asking yourself about the problems we are facing in developing a Coronavirus vaccine.
The rushed timeline itself may prove to be an issue. Once we do start producing large amounts of vaccines, there’s no guarantee a COVID vaccine will work for millions of citizens. Nor is it guaranteed to work perfectly for all demographics, including elder adults with pre-existing health conditions.
Because research and testing may be rushed, we won’t be able to properly evaluate the long-lasting effects of vaccines. While the vaccine may work in the present, how will it affect the body several years from now?
ADE is a possibility. To learn more about ADE, click here.
What Do We Do While We Wait?
As mentioned previously, there are many things a person can do to help slow the spread of COVID-19 while waiting for a vaccine.
Stay inside your home as much as possible, only surrounded by other residents of the home. If you do go out, stay 6 feet away from people, and wear a mask. The mask, while not a sure savior, will slow the spread by catching large particles from coughs and sneezes.
If you do believe you’re sick, set up an appointment with your doctor for a test. There may even be a free testing site near you. ERs are also doing tests, but be aware of hidden costs.
If you choose not to test but are experiencing symptoms, quarantine inside your room. Make no contact with any other person or pet. Quarantine for at least 14 days to see if the symptoms subside.
Symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing, fever, loss of smell and taste, fatigue, and body aches. When self-evaluating, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Alert your job if you even think you’re ill.
Do know that symptoms may take several days to develop after contracting the virus.
Let’s Stick Together by Staying Apart While We Wait for a Vaccine
Many researchers are remaining hopeful in saying we will have a vaccine by the summer of 2021. While the COVID-19 vaccine timeline is unknown, we can continue to remain hopeful.
Make sure to keep an eye on the numbers as we continue to wait. Follow all CDC guidelines carefully, and be considerate of those around you. By following the simple guidelines, we can bring down the numbers together.
While you’re stuck inside, check out the rest of our site. There are plenty of articles to read on health, travel, and lifestyle.