Wellcome Trust director Sir Jeremy Farrar urges world leaders to not create a false hope about COVID-19 vaccine in people!
When coronavirus came in, along with it came the talk and hype about coronavirus vaccine. Politicians and pharmaceutical companies with the media began to feed the brains of the general public about the COVID-19 vaccine. They started raising hopes in the minds of these lay people that vaccines will end the pandemic. And people started waiting with bated breath for the arrival of this ‘magical cure’ for coronavirus. But now, Wellcome Trust director, Sir Jeremy Farrar has asserted that the vaccine will not be a silver bullet to bring the pandemic to an end. He has urged the world leaders to stop creating false hope in people about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Wellcome Trust director, Sir Jeremy Farrar and his article
Sir Jeremy Farrar had written an article in Observer and spoke candidly about the much-awaited coronavirus vaccines. He states that the first vaccines which are likely to pour out soon are only partially effective. He feels that the world governments are raising false hopes in people and making them feel that vaccines would end this malady which has gripped the world since December 2019.
Sir Jeremy fears that increasing people’s expectations and rushing into producing vaccines and new drugs for coronavirus could damage the public’s trust in any forthcoming effective vaccination programs. They would no more believe in vaccines when they see that the COVID-19 vaccine has not helped the pandemic to end.
Jeremy’s and vaccine nationalism
Jeremy is a key adviser for the government. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) of the UK government. He also fears that once the vaccine is out against the deadly virus, it might lead to vaccine nationalism which is hoarding of vaccines and its supply to rich nations while the poor nations might be left without it. Jeremy believes in a fair allocation of the vaccines so that all are benefited.
More about Jeremy’s take on the allocation of vaccines
Sir Jeremy also feels that even in a country, the vaccine should first go to those who need them the most. The adviser also feels that the virus is spreading rapidly in young adults. From them, it is reaching the vulnerable people in their homes. Hence, some plans and actions should be implemented to prevent this spread to the susceptible people in the world and at homes. Jeremy wrote in the article:
“We are facing a chaotic stop-start winter for schools and businesses,”
“We have to do everything possible to avoid this. The first vaccine may not be a silver bullet that sends us back to normal in a matter of months. But by using doses wisely on people who most need them along with truthful, considered public health messaging that does not place false expectations, we will be in a strong position to avoid a repeat of early 2020.”
170 vaccines are in various phases of trials but none are fully effective. He adds:
“I am optimistic we will soon see results from the first vaccines coming through late-stage clinical trials,”
“However, we must temper this optimism, talk of the perfect vaccine ‘just around the corner’. Or that it can be given to everyone immediately.
“The speed and scale of vaccine development have been remarkable but it’s important to avoid false hope.”
Safety should not be compromised in the enthusiasm to vaccinate people quickly, he feels.