Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

Follow the World Health Organization's instructions to reduce your risk of infection:

1/ Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

2/ When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw issue away immediately and wash hands.

3/ Avoid close contact with anyone that has fever and cough.

Carl T. Bergstrom+ Your Authors @CT_Bergstrom #BlackLivesMatter Prof. Biol. @UW. Info flow in bio, society, & science. I love crows and ravens. he/him Book *Calling Bullshit* Aug 4th: tinyurl.com/y7ekfkhx Jul. 24, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

1. I am optimistic about the prospects for an effective Covid vaccine within a reasonable timeframe.

Through phase 2 of numerous trials, nothing has gone spectacularly wrong.

(I've written about a caveat here: .)

2. BUT an effective vaccine in 2021 is not an absolutely sure thing.

And we're not really talking about this all that much.

We're thinking about how to get through the next six-to-twelve months until we can be rescued by an immunological deux ex machina.

3. I think this is a mistake.

*If* we fail to develop an effective vaccine in a timely manner, this will have a catastrophic effect on the prospect of economic recovery.

This @NBCNews story begins to explore the issue.  https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/meet-the-press/what-s-backup-plan-if-there-s-no-covid-19-n1234742 

4. It's also not obvious that we will reach herd immunity with a vaccine. If we have a pretty good vaccine that is 70% effective and we have a very good 70% of people getting it, that reduces R by approximately 50%. It helps, but it doesn't take us back to 2019.

5. As I see it, we need to avoid the mistakes of the past six months—namely, hoping for the best and planning accordingly.

We need to start hedging our bets now by planning for a nightmare scenario of no vaccine or an intermediate scenario of limited vaccine efficacy.

6. What would that look like?

I don't have all the answers, or maybe even any of the answers.

What I would like to see, though, would be:

7. First, massive investment in developing the testing technology and infrastructure needed for wide-scale proactive testing. The eventual target might be tear-off "pregnancy test"-type strips that people could use at home on a daily basis.

8. Second, I think we need moonshot-level investment in therapeutics. Right now we basically have one drug (dexamethasone) that seems to help in severely ill patients with respiratory distress, but probably hurts everyone else. We need early-stage disease antivirals and more.

9. Third, we can't keep postponing health screenings and elective healthcare procedures. To avoid an enormous toll of other-cause mortality, we need to figure out how to manage the logistics of safe health care delivery in a world where Covid-19 is endemic.

10. Maybe we'll get a miracle vaccine and none of this will be an issue. I sure hope so. If so, my proposal would end up having "wasted" a bunch of money advancing human knowledge toward health challenges. If not, the return on investment from pursuing the above will be enormous.


You can follow @CT_Bergstrom.



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