Lessons learned from the past: Why rushing a coronavirus vaccine could be dangerous

unnamed file
Credit: T. Warren/AP

Annual flu shots don’t need to go through clinical trials every time they are adjusted for each year’s flu strain, because the backbone of the vaccine was already clinically tested and licensed and doesn’t change. That might create an expectation that a Covid-19 vaccine can also arrive rapidly—an expectation that cannot be met, because there is no licensed coronavirus vaccine. “One thing that concerns me is whether the pressure to get it out quickly won’t reduce the commitment of testing it in a variety of population groups that could react differently,” [emeritus professor Stuart] Blume adds.

That caution comes in part from reactions to some of the formulas in which the quickly-created 2009 pandemic [H1N1] flu vaccine was delivered. A small number of children in Sweden and Finland developed narcolepsy, a neurological disorder in which people fall asleep unpredictably during their waking hours, after receiving a version of the 2009 vaccine.

Related article:  COVID-19 vaccines unlikely to be 'cure-alls'. That might not be such a bad thing

Several months later, the government of Australia reported that up to 1 child out of 100 had fevers and convulsions after receiving a different vaccine formula that contained the 2009 strain.

The unanswered question is whether those lessons will be listened to. “The last, awful act of any pandemic,” [physician Howard] Markel says, “is amnesia.”

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Infographic: How dangerous COVID mutant strains develop

Sometime in 2019, probably in China, SARS CoV-2 figured out a way to interact with a specific "spike" on the ...
Untitled

Philip Njemanze: Leading African anti-GMO activist claims Gates Foundation destroying Nigeria

Nigerian anti-GMO activist, physician, and inventor pushes anti-gay and anti-GMO ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend