Positioning, Sentiment and Multiple Expansion
April 27, 2020
Coronavirus Vaccine: We’ve all heard that a coronavirus vaccine will take at least 18-months to develop. But there are also reports of vaccine trials with much shorter timelines like 3-4 months. Reports of an 18-month timeline refer to a ‘pathogen-specific’ vaccine where a piece of virus is inject into the host to trick the immune system into an adaptive response when exposed to the actual virus. The 3-4 month estimates are for non-pathogen specific vaccines that could boost the ‘innate’ immune system of the host. The innate immune system is the body’s first line defense…it doesn’t recognize the pathogen and doesn’t much care. There are several double blind-placebo controlled trials going on to test the efficacy of non-specific vaccines in reducing Covid-19 infection rates. This started to hit the news after studies from JHU and the University of Michigan showed statistically significant correlations between countries (mostly emerging economies) with low mortality rates and mandatory BCG vaccinations (tuberculosis). And over the last ~12 years, double blind placebo controlled trials have shown the BCG vaccination offers protection from unrelated third party infections like viral pneumonia, bacterial pneumonia, parasites, yellow fever and a diverse group other diseases. It’s a controversial thing among scientists (starting to think everything is) because no one’s been able to identify the specific mechanism responsible for changing patterns in immune response genes. A safe, effective vaccine will be available in the future, but in the meantime the US economy will reopen on collective measures like social distancing, testing, temperature measurement etc.