Viewpoint: Creating a COVID vaccine may turn out to be the easiest part. Logistics pose a global nightmare

guinea unicef banner
Credit: UNICEF

Governments deserve credit for supporting [COVID vaccine] advances through public subsidies. But that was always going to be the easy part. The real challenge now is managing expectations amid growing anxiety and impatience. Looking ahead, it will also be up to policy makers to ensure a vaccine is distributed in a timely and fairly way, and that pseudoscientific theories do not prevent people from accepting inoculation.

Rather than engaging in cheap electioneering, our political leaders should be focusing on an efficient vaccine rollout plan. There are two risks in particular that will require careful handling: In the short term, there will be enormous pressure from many individuals to obtain the initial doses, which will inevitably be scarce. After a few months, the challenge will be getting enough of the population to receive the immunization, so as to achieve “herd immunity.”

Related article:  23andMe and weight loss: Can consumer DNA-testing company deliver?
Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

These two threats demand, first of all, that the development of vaccines is shielded from political pressure. It’s one thing to cut unnecessary bureaucracy, it’s another to gamble on safety — and scientists are best placed to distinguish between the two… Politicians should not stand in their way. This is essential if we are to avoid catastrophic accidents after a rollout, which could cause both health issues and a dangerous backlash against immunization.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

As of 1 December 2020, thirteen vaccines have reached the final stage of testing: where they are being given to ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
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