With the current pandemic situation which has hit the ground all around globe, we had a discussion and Q&A session with one of the renowned COVID-19 experts, Dr. Michael Kinch, the Associate Vice Chancellor and Director of the Center for Research Innovation in Business in Washington University. Dr. Kinch’s scientific expertise includes pre-clinical drug development for cancer, immunological and infectious diseases with small molecules, monoclonal antibodies and other biologics. During this zoom cast, he mainly talked about the latest trends and updates over COVID-19 vaccines and his article about volunteering in a COVID-19 vaccine trail.
Dr Michael Kinch Looks into the innovations that’s going on within vaccine development industries. If any one of them gets FDA approved vaccines for Covid19 that stands out. Currently, there have been a remarkable job done at their Research & Development centre in accelerating the pace of vaccine a development.
The existing data with us suggests that on average, it takes about 15years for a vaccine to go from just conception to where you gain an FDA approval. Sometimes, its 7 Years in phase1 and phase2 of portions of clinical trial, which establishes the safety of the vaccine. Usually takes 5 years, but now has been done in half a year. This Phase3, we are now in, is either near to finish line, or distancing from the finish line, paradoxically, depending upon the success. The status update till now suggests that the phase3 trial able to supply on 30k-60k by some companies. And Some half a dozen or even less than at risk parallels enough to be approved.
Dr Kinch has been a supporter and volunteer of vaccines. The ramification, rushing the production of vaccine, the premature FDA approval, emergency authorization might affect the clinical trials. Clinical trials are designed in such that you hold enough patience to hold 50k, people on average. We must be thoroughly transparent with the result of trials and implications. Since most times the first once is highly rushed, we won’t know for sure, if it’s the best, since our learning curve is vertical. We are still learning and have a lot to learn in future. The heard immunity reaching will otherwise be zero. At least on Average 60-80% need to be protected by one vaccine.
Altogether, we need to achieve complete transparency on how well the vaccine is working, and how rushing into approving a vaccine might compromise health. The industries must also position their product to be superior, which when used as a universal by all governments across countries must Promote public health safety. It can be said that the immunity you receive to corona is not necessarily permanent. Still no idea on the seasonal viruses. Same kind of viruses might affect you in a year or two. Can’t still be sure if 100% of the corona virus is vaccine able completely. No guarantees can be given at this point. So we must be transparent with the vaccine, deliver a safe and durable one. Or we will have to consider vaccinating frequently like once in a year or once in 3 years or 10 years.
The Molecular antibodies approach. Practical standpoint and how careful we are in understanding, while hoping it works as we expected. If they do how are we going to manufacture to treat the significant population CDC hold a great credibility and it was vulnerable when it delayed in accepting the corona virus situation. FDA have the same credibility and are vulnerable when it comes to approval of vaccine. We cannot compromise our credibility and chances. So we need to be transparent in what works and what does not. Be straight forward with durability, safety, efficacy. Also focus on the prioritization of how we are to roll out the vaccines, considering the regional and seasonal distribution, the logistic part of transparency.
Science is not political and can overcome with transparency. Large clinical trials are done to provide global supply. Pandemic occurs as a natural disaster every decade. We need to learn out the lessons now and keep them in our head, so as to be prepared and not make the same mistakes in future.