Saturday, August 19, 2023

Pan-Variant Vaccines on the Horizon

 Epidemiologist prof Raywat Deonandan said,

"Whenever I encourage people to mask in crowded indoor settings, I get the same pushback: 

'Do we have to do this for the rest of our lives?'

The answer is no. Because mucosal, pan-variant, transmission-slowing Covid vaccines are on their way. Until then, try to avoid infection."

This is so important. Not just the new type of vaccine, but also the message. We need something to look forward to and some kind of end-goal for it all to keep up our stamina. It's hard when the current vaccines are only viable for a few months. Of course I still get them, but it's worse that we have to wait the full six months between doses now.

It's like we're been running a marathon and someone keeps moving the finishing line further and further away. Most people have just completely wandered off course by now. A few of us decided we're all about the running not the finishing and have embraced masks like we do our glasses. Begrudgingly. It just another thing to remember to put on everyday. It's not traumatizing; it's just annoying. Mask and relax! I tell the dubious masses. Still a few others have their eyes on the prize and scrutinize research for the next holy grail. This might be it. 

I expect the new vaccine will be like getting Lasik eye surgery. Maybe we won't need glasses ever again!! BUT, if you're like me, you'll still need glasses from time to time - and I'll likely still wear my mask inside public buildings just in case.

Vaccines got a really bad rap because people expected them to work like the measles vaccines, one and done, but they're much more like flu vaccines. Measles doesn't mutate rapidly the way Covid and the flu do. So, they been a best guess to match current variants, and always a few months behind what's actually out there. It's like expecting a cure for the common cold. So people lost faith in the vaccination entirely. Unfortunately, more people lost faith in all vaccines because of this big misunderstanding and false set of expectations.

And it really doesn't help when governments make it difficult or expensive to get any kind of vaccine:

The pan-variant vaccines they're working on, which might be around sometime in 2024 (which could still be in another 16 months from now - and then they have to get through our Canadian bureaucracy) don't work by targeting specific variants, so they might last longer than a few months before they're rendered useless. So far, studies have shown strong immunity at least for six months.

That's something!!

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