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What is more likely for Covid-19 – a successful vaccine, or an effective drug?


New Scientist answers, "We are likely to see several drugs approved for treating covid-19 before any vaccine becomes available, but they won’t be miracle cures. We will almost certainly find drugs that have statistically significant effects, but these effects are likely to be modest. For instance, a drug called remdesivir has received emergency use approval in the US based on initial results suggesting that it shortens recovery time, but it doesn’t seem to reduce the number of deaths. A real game-changer would be a drug that helps people with severe covid-19 recover. Instead of targeting the virus, such a drug would need to help reverse the severe inflammatory response – called a cytokine storm – that it triggers in some people. No such drug has been developed yet. Human trials of several vaccines have already begun. There is no guarantee that these efforts will succeed, but many vaccine researchers are optimistic."

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