Will Scientists find a Covid Vaccine by Christmas?


Dimitri Houtteman

Will there be a COVID-19 vaccine by Christmas? What are the chances?

Chase Fingerson, Reporter

As we move past Halloween and get ready for the holidays, Many students are concerned with going back to school wondering when this COVID shenanigans will end. What are the chances that a coronavirus vaccine will be made effective enough to stop the pandemic before Christmas? 

President Donald Trump and his administration said that they hope for a vaccine by the holidays. Currently, there are many vaccines by different places of study in many phases. Well, how far along are these vaccines? When will they be ready to be released to the public? According to the WHO (World Health Organization), many vaccines are still in testing phases, so what are these phases?

There are four stages to a vaccine process:

In the preclinical stage of testing, researchers give the vaccine to animals to see if it triggers an immune response.

In phase 1 of clinical testing, the vaccine is given to a small group of people to determine whether it is safe and to learn more about the immune response it provokes.

In phase 2, the vaccine is given to hundreds of people so scientists can learn more about its safety and correct dosage.

In phase 3, the vaccine is given to thousands of people to confirm its safety – including rare side effects – and effectiveness. These trials involve a control group that is given a placebo.

Vaccines normally require years of testing and additional time to produce at scale, but scientists are hoping to develop a coronavirus vaccine within 12 to 18 months. Only 11 of  206 vaccines being tested are in the final phase which means that they are still being tested to make sure that they are safe to everyone since vaccines may be dangerous to pregnant women and children, according to the WHO. We do not know when it will be released to the public. 

The Trump administration guaranteed that the vaccines will be free to the public and will be given out in a safe and efficient process.  

So what are the chances of a vaccine coming out by Christmas?  The Washington Post reported that according to Robert Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, the U.S. could have multiple vaccines by the year’s end. 

Many Americans although are concerned about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, if the U.S. was to make a vaccine, according to a Harris Poll, 63% of U.S. adults expressed safety concerns over a coronavirus vaccine — with 40% of respondents specifically worrying that its fast-paced development has been too fast. But most experts say by early 2021 that a vaccine will be handed out to the public. 

Most scientists anticipate that, like most other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine will not be 100% effective. WHO is working to help ensure that any approved vaccines are as effective as possible, so they can have the greatest impact on the pandemic.

The chances of a vaccine by Christmas is pretty low but not impossible as everyday doctors and researchers across the world keep working hard to find a cure for this deadly pandemic.