Dr. Stanley Plotkin, Johnson, Perlman School Of Medicine discussed on Bloomberg Law


Dr. Stanley Plotkin is one of the few people who has developed a vaccine when he led the effort in the 19 sixties to eradicate rubella. He is now professor emeritus of pediatrics at the Perlman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. I asked Dr Plotkin based on his experience developing rubella and other vaccines. What may be applicable to the search for the Corona virus vaccine. Well, probably the right answer is not much For a number of reasons. So one obviously is the urgency on DH. But second is the number of companies On biotechs trying to develop a vaccine. On the third point is that fortunately we have much more ways of developing vaccines then we did back in the 19 sixties. And that's why one sees today these numerous efforts to develop a vaccine because they were different strategies, different platforms as we call them. To develop vaccines. Does that give you some hope, at least hope that in fact, this might take less time than earlier vaccines have taken Well, A lot of us, of course, realised the urgency of developing a vaccine. Because just like the black plague Ah, this is destroying society, causing much. Besides immortality through the disease, it's it's having an effect on civil society that we haven't seen for atleast for 100 years. And as I said, resembling, in in a way, the plague So, yes, I think this is a new situation. And the what I'm happy about is that all hands are on deck. The vaccine community has really responded for this urgency there certain aspects of this development that simply cannot be rushed and particularly talking about sort of clinical trials in the field. As I understand it after initial trials with loaded number of people, then you have to go out. To a large number of people in various places. Well, that's true and for a licence. Ultimately, that will be necessary. That is for a licence vaccine where vaccines To be used indiscriminately That is to say in a ll kinds of different populations. That being said, Uh, I I and some others have been pushing for whether cool human challenge studies. To try to accelerate the availability of vaccines for emergency use. That would mean testing in people who are exposed to the virus. Teo determine whether or not the particular vaccines will protect or not, which, of course, is the critical question. In fact, as I understand it, doctor we don't really know. Even if people have had the disease and recovered from we're not sure if they have immunity. If so, how powerful is how long it will last That is correct. And that's another reason for testing people who have had the infection to determine if they are immune or not. Well, what about the international competition for that? Is this a healthy thing? We have AstraZeneca We've got. Johnson and Johnson. We've got many different candidates going here. Is that the way to develop this most effectively? Well, I think the answer is yes. Obviously there will be problems in the future if we are need to vaccinate. 7.5 1,000,000,000 people. On DH. If the vaccine let's say need to those whose instead of one that's something that's never been done before. So we really need on international agreements as tohave, a producer. That kind of volume of vaccines. Unfortunately, though, as I said, there are many different strategies being used, and I I hope I would anticipate that there will be more than one or two vaccines that are showing to protect and therefore It could be produced on a large scale, one of the raging issues. I think that's not an overstatement right now in the country is the return of school Children to classrooms. President Trump's certainly wants that at the same time, we have very school districts were very reluctant, or basically decided they'll go just remote. From what you know of this disease at this point. Is it safe? To send Children back in the classroom without a vaccine. I think it would be very unwise to do that, and the reasons are that Children can be infected. They can be made ill even though the rate is much lower. Then an older people, But in addition, they will infect other people, even particularly if they're asymptomatic. They will pass the virus between them. B that is from child child and Children going home to their parents will inevitably infect their parents or their grand parents. On it will just promote Thie epidemic promote the continuation of the epidemic. So I would not be in favor of that happening. One of the things that we may be seeing, and I say, may because it may be premature to say this Is a change in the mortality rate of people contracting this disease and that maybe because treatment's better whether it's from death, severe promenading people putting on their stomach and their chest. Things like that is the do you think the virus is changing? Are we changing our reaction to it? And should that give us some cause for hope? Even short of vaccine. I mean the evidence for virus change. Aside from a few mutations here and there a cz I would say really next, negligible it it. It doesn't appear that this is a virus like influenza that changes dramatically even during One winter season, so this virus is more stable genetically, So I don't think that's the issue. I think the issue is That physicians are better. Treating people with the disease managing.

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