Clinical pharmacologist and a professor at the Centre for Tropical Clinical Pharmacology, Prof Alex Dodoo, has revealed that there has been significant progress in the quest for a vaccine for the coronavirus.
Prof Dodoo, who is also Director-General of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), said there are indeed vaccines that are being evaluated for safety before they are given the green light.
“There are at least eight candidate vaccines that are being evaluated. One at least has started in human trials. The issue is that you want to be sure that they are safe,” he said Thursday evening on the business edition of PM Express.
He said the complexity of the safety evaluation is a significant contributor to delays in getting an approved vaccine.
“Within the next three weeks, we [scientific community] should be able to conclusively say which ones will go further better,” he revealed.
There is uncertainty in the scientific community when a vaccine will be available to defeat the virus.
There is also the question about the affordability and accessibility of the accepted vaccine.
Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, recently said that a vaccine for the virus could take 12 to 18 months to develop, test and approve for public use as new vaccines typically take years to earn approval.
However, there are indications that Covid-19 patients who have been getting an experimental drug called remdesivir have been recovering quickly, with most going home in days.
According to a news report on Thursday that was attributed to STAT News, patients taking part in a clinical trial of the drug have all had severe respiratory symptoms and fever but were able to leave the hospital after less than a week of treatment.
Whether a vaccine will soon be approved for use in the next three weeks or in 2021, Prof Dodoo said on PM Express on Thursday that an important consideration that the scientific community will have to make will be between the benefit of that vaccine versus its associated risks.