While Australia may be almost 18 months away from a Coronavirus vaccine, the dean of Health Sciences at Melbourne's Swinburne University, Professor Bruce Thompson said there is no guarantee that a working COVID-19 vaccine would be effective at suppressing the SARS-CoV-2.
Prof Thompson said, "We're cautiously optimistic we're going in the right direction" but there is no proof that if someone has taken the vaccine it would protect them and "your symptoms are going to be way less than they are now."
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) which is monitoring the global health crisis also indicated that the world may never have a "silver bullet" for the Coronavirus or capable of completely neutralizing the virus' spread.
Australia Coronavirus and Vaccine
There are two Australia based research teams in Adelaide and at the University of Queensland, who are already at the clinical trial stage to test their drug against the Coronavirus on humans. As of July, over 250 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are being pursued globally, with 30 already in the stage of clinical trials.
But as per Prof Thompson, even if a vaccine comes by September 2021, it would be another prospect altogether to get a mass production so that everyone can receive it. While talking to Daily Mail Australia, he added, "We are talking about the middle to the end of next year when we'll have a vaccine ready for your GP to give you," but right now "we need to start thinking about how we can minimize the [Coronavirus] spread in other ways like through contact tracing."
Prof Thompson also explained that through the syndromic analysis it is possible to understand how the virus is spreading through small areas and containing those outbreaks. But noted, "You have to also consider the real possibility we don't ever have an effective vaccine."
It cannot be overlooked that the vaccine development process has already been fast-tracked considering the rising cases of Coronavirus all around the world. But when exactly will an effective vaccine come is still a major challenge.
However, Professor Thompson said rapid testing in Australia much like a pregnancy test, and better treatment are the two options before the Australian government to curb the rapid spread of the virus before the arrival of a vaccine.
In July, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia, which reported over 21,000 COVID-19 cases, approved anti-viral Remdesivir to treat novel Coronavirus patients.