WHO Chief scientist says that coronavirus will take 4-5 years to control. She says that even if the vaccine is developed still it would take long time to control the virus.
Soumya Swaminathan said, “Let’s say we have a vaccine and we’re able to cover the world’s entire population, which may take, I don’t know, three years, four years, So I would say in a four – to – five year timeframe we could be looking at controlling this. And if the virus mutates, it could render an established vaccine ineffective”
People were hoping that vaccines would be developed soon and the virus would be controlled and then people will return to normal life. US Senior Health Officials including Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the top infectious disease expert on the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, said that a vaccine would be the best cure for the virus but WHO scientist says that vaccine would not be able to control the virus immediately.
Vaccines train the immune system to recognize and fight pathogens, either viruses or bacteria. By injecting antigens in body, body learns to recognize them as hostile invaders, produces antibodies, and remember them for future. So immune system can fight the virus or bacteria when it invades.
However, even if the vaccine is developed it would take a long time to distribute it to people. Everyone would not have an access to the vaccine. This is why she said that controlling the virus would take 4-5 years.
Peter Piot, a professor of global health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, explained that no disease has been eliminated by vaccines except smallpox. He says that we should find ways to live in society with this virus. He suggested that instead of complete lockdowns societies should be shifted to “targeted lockdown”. So the spreading of the virus reduces.
Soumya Swaminathan stressed that the number of cases and the health facilities should be considered in reopening of economies and also special measures should be taken for safety of nursing homes and crowded places like churches.
Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, said that the coronavirus “May never go away”. He added that trying to control the virus would require a “massive effort,” even if a vaccine is found.
In US there are more than 1.5 million coronavirus cases. 89,442 people have died because of COVID-19 and only 337,529 patients have recovered by now.