Farmscape for July 20, 2020
The Director and CEO of VIDO-InterVac suggests the introduction of vaccines to provide protection from COVID-19 is key to slowing the spread of the infection.
The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization has developed a COVID-19 vaccine that's been shown effective in ferrets, is currently safety testing the vaccine in animals and is hoping to move into human trials by fall.
VIDO-InterVac Director and CEO Dr. Volker Gerdts says, as the pandemic continues to spread around the world and people are dying, time is the most critical factor so every effort is being made at every opportunity to fast track the development of vaccines.
Clip-Dr. Volker Gerdts-VIDO-InterVac:
I think what we're seeing globally is that, until we have a vaccine, we have to mostly depend on public health guidelines, so wearing masks, social distancing, no gatherings and all these things, hand washing and so on.
While there is a few antivirals that are coming out now and they look very promising, these are drugs that can be given to individuals with the disease, they might help in getting you out of the hospital quicker, they might help in preventing you from going into ICU but they're not really helping in controlling the disease overall.
What you really need to have is what we call a sufficient level of herd immunity, so lots of people that have a good immune response to it and then we can see that the virus spread is going to slow down.
To get to herd immunity we need people to get vaccinated with it.
Once that is happening, once these vaccines are available then we will see that the disease spread is going to slow down.
Dr. Gerdts notes there is currently more than 100 vaccine technologies being developed around the world.
He predicts, by the end of this year or early next year, we'll start to see the first few technologies becoming available for targeted higher risk populations and for the general population over the spring and summer of next year.
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