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COVID-19: First generation of vaccine might be imperfect, says UK taskforce

Rida Shaikh

The newly appointed COVID-19 taskforce in UK has informed that the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccines might not be perfect. The chair of the taskforce Kate Bingham said that no vaccine in the history “has been so eagerly expected” and that  “vaccination is widely regarded as the only true exit strategy from the pandemic that is currently spreading globally".

Adding to this, Kate Bingham also cautioned the people against over-optimism. She also warned that any vaccine might not work for everyone or will work for very long. She said, “We do not know that we will ever have a vaccine at all. It is important to guard against complacency and over-optimism.”

She furthermore added, “The first generation of vaccines is likely to be imperfect, and we should be prepared that they might not prevent infection but rather reduce symptoms, and, even then, might not work for everyone or for long.”

Sir Patrick Vallance who is the UK government’s chief scientific advisor had created the vaccine task force. It was reportedly created in May 2020 under the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy. The head of the taskforce Kate Bingham reports directly to the Prime Minister.

In her article in the Lancet, she said, “strategy has been to build a diverse portfolio across different formats to give the UK the greatest chance of providing a safe and effective vaccine, recognizing that many, and possibly all, of these vaccines, could fail.”

Kate Bingham wrote the article as a review of the coronavirus vaccine research that called for a standardized approach to evaluate the potential effectiveness of all the expected COVID-19 vaccines.

Presently, there are more than 200 vaccine prospects in development around the world. Out of these 200, forty-four candidates are in the process of clinical trials. Out of the forty-four number of vaccines that are in clinical trials, nine candidates are in phase three of the clinical evaluation. These vaccines are being given to thousands of people to ensure safety and effectiveness.

 

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