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Early vaccines will prevent symptoms, not the virus - Fauci

FILE PHOTO AP Photo/Hans Pennink

FILE PHOTO AP Photo/Hans Pennink

Published Oct 30, 2020


CAPE TOWN- At least four Covid-19 vaccine candidates are in late-stage clinical trials in the United States, but when they will become available and how well they will work remains a question.

Director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr Anthony Fauci has cautioned that early Covid-19 vaccines will be aimed at preventing symptoms of the virus, rather than killing the virus itself.

Fauci said during the the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit earlier this week that while he is cautiously optimistic that a vaccine will arrive by the end of the year, it may only be 50 to 60 percent effective.

“The primary thing you want to do is that if people get infected, prevent them from getting sick, and if you prevent them from getting sick, you will ultimately prevent them from getting seriously ill,” he said.

Preventing symptoms is a “primary endpoint” in the vaccine development process, Fauci said. Getting rid of the virus altogether is considered a “secondary endpoint.”


Earlier this week the United Kingdom’s Vaccine Taskforce chair, Kate Bingham said that the first generation of Covid-19 vaccines “is likely to be imperfect” and that they “might not work for everyone”.

“The Covid-19 virus is likely to evolve, and other zoonotic pathogens are likely to pose future risks. China, Europe, the USA, and the UK need to work together. If we establish international collaboration right now, then we will be better prepared to control future pandemics without causing the largest global recession in history and the biggest threat to lives in living memory,” she said.

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