There is little or almost no chance of finding a full-proof vaccine to treat Covid-19 by 2021, said a top French expert on Sunday, once again dashing hopes of finding a treatment for the deadly virus anytime soon. The news comes just days after US' topmost health expert Dr. Anthony Fauci made similar remarks of bleak chances of finding a successful vaccine this year.
Although many biotech and pharmaceutical companies have been claimed to be close to finding a coronavirus vaccine as early as this year, experts and researchers believe that the earliest chances of developing a treatment will only be next year. This comes amid news of a spike in fresh coronavirus cases in countries that have started reopening, including the United States.
No Immediate Hopes of Vaccine
Epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet, one of the experts in the team of researchers advising the French government in developing a treatment for Covid-19, while speaking on BFMTV on Sunday said that it takes several years to develop a vaccine, according to an AFP report. Fontanet reportedly also said that although there is an unprecedented effort toward finding a vaccine to treat Covid-19, he would be surprised if a successful vaccine gets developed by 2021.
He, however, said the world could get a vaccine this year that could only partially treat coronavirus, hinting that people for the time being will have to live with the virus and social distancing is the only way to contain its spread. Fontanet's remarks comes just a couple of days after the French government warned of a second wave of coronavirus. However, the authorities this time don't plan to go for a complete lockdown. Instead, they plan to extend stay-at-home orders and business closures.
Social Distancing Only Solution
Fontanet reportedly also said that the primary risks of new coronavirus clusters now are in confined spaces such as restaurants, discotheques, cruise ships, warships and houses accommodating migrant workers. Also, a group of doctors on Saturday requested the French government to make masks compulsory inside public buildings in a bid to contain the spread of the virus.
Drugmakers across the world are racing toward developing a successful vaccine to treat the coronavirus and are pumping in millions of dollars. Although more than 10 companies have already entered clinical trials of their vaccine candidates, with a couple entering final phase tests, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to approve a treatment for the deadly virus. Given this situation, it is likely that governments across the world will continue to stress on maintaining social distancing and wearing masks until the time a full-proof vaccine is reached.