It’s been almost four months since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic — and now experts say it could be years before we’re out of the woods.
Last week, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci, said he remains cautiously optimistic there will be a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year or early 2021.
But other others aren’t so sure. Dr. Faheem Younus, chief of infectious diseases at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, believes it could take two years for a vaccine to be ready, and that’s a best-case scenario.
That’s because a vaccine has never been developed so quickly (on average, most vaccines take around 10 years to develop), and there’s no guarantee any of the vaccines under development will work.
Younus took to Twitter on Sunday explaining why he believes we should plan for a two-year timeline.
“Multiple vaccines will likely be available, but their efficacy, side-effects and acceptance by the general public are all unknown,” Younus told Global News in an email.
“Vaccine development will likely take a year; it’s the supply chain, distribution and getting it physically into the host, which includes many steps. These steps will be unequal across nations based on their capacity.”
He explained that there “most likely” will be three to five vaccines available by summer 2021, but the problem is the global distribution.
“We cannot feel safe unless this pandemic is controlled globally. For example, New Zealand, Vietnam, South Korea and many others have controlled the virus, but they aren’t safe unless much of the world controls the pandemic as well,” he said.
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