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Covid-19: Where are we on immunity and vaccines?

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m3096 (Published 05 August 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m3096

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Re: Covid-19: Where are we on immunity and vaccines?

Dear Editor,
There seems to be a great rush for bringing SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines in market. People are also eager for the Vaccine. In ordinary course a drug takes about 10 years from concept to market. If a drug is fast-tracked, it still rakes about 3 years to be approved for use.
One has to be wary of haste in marketing Vaccines. Following points must be kept in mind:
1) How long the Immunity conferred by the Vaccine will last?
2) If the virus mutates, will the Vaccine protect against the new mutant?
3) Will the vaccine protect people of all the geographic and ethnic origins equally well?
4) Will the vaccine be suitable for people of all ages?
5) Will there be very late onset adverse effects of the vaccine?
Very late onset adverse effects such as Subacute Sclerosing Pan Encephalitis (SSPE), cannot be ruled out with short duration trials.
Adverse effects like Subacute Sclerosing Pan Encephalitis, Ascending Polyneuritis, Myopathies, Autoimmune Diseases,and rarer chance of triggering development of malignancies are most dreaded possibilities.
Also worrisome prospects are that should any of these adverse effects develop, people will lose faith in vaccination and anti-vaccine campaigns will get a stick to beat with.
The rush for the vaccines should not lead to a disaster.
Arvind Joshi; MBBS, MD, FCGP, FAMS, FICP;
Convener- Our Own Discussion Group;
602-C, Megh Apartments;
Ganesh Peth Lane, Dadar West, Mumbai;
Maharashtra State, INDIA; PIN 400028.

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 August 2020
Arvind Joshi
Physician(Medicine and Therapeutics)
Our Own Discussion Group
602-C, Megh Apartments, Ganesh Peth Lane,