Those who have had organ transplants and are immunosuppressed have been placed in the extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 category by the government. Many parents and young people cannot work and are experiencing a significant loss of income, interruption to their careers, separation from family and friends, and anxieties around the impact on their children which can all lead to negative energy and thoughts. This often isn’t helped by news coverage and interviews which concentrate on what is going wrong.
What is being asked of people who are shielding and their families cannot be underestimated, and while COVID-19 is at large in the population, they do not feel safe. With no definite end date to shielding, they are constantly on edge and waiting for further guidance, data and instructions while the world’s scientists race to find a cure or vaccine.
Today we want to concentrate on the positives.
Zania Stamataki, Senior Lecturer in Viral Immunology at the University of Birmingham, has provided some much-needed reasons to be optimistic about finding a vaccine for COVID-19.
- In just a few months, 90 vaccines are under development. This is an incredible achievement. Vaccine development is a long, complex and expensive process, often lasting 10-15 years, but COVID-19 vaccines are moving quickly and some are already being tested on humans.
- This virus can be cured. COVID-19 cannot make fresh copies of itself after immune elimination, unlike other viruses, meaning that a cure is possible.
- Most people who have had COVID-19 develop specific immune responses. Vaccine products are based on these immune responses and can be refined and enriched so that the body has an even stronger response to the virus.
- Once developed, an effective vaccine for COVID-19 may not require updating for quite some time because coronaviruses mutate more slowly than some other viruses like influenza.
- Researchers are taking different approaches to developing a vaccine. This gives a higher chance of success at the earliest opportunity.
Zania believes that a vaccine is within our reach, which is very encouraging and gives us hope during an incredibly difficult time. You can read Zania’s full article at theconversation.com.