Johns Hopkins expert on vaccine update

Posted at 5:15 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 17:15:47-05

With the rise in cases, Johns Hopkins restarted twice a month briefings on the virus.

Today the big discussion was of course on that vaccine update.

Dr. William Moss, Executive Director of the International vaccine access center says while the news is promising, he was cautious in his overall outlook.

"Are these the ideal vaccines? Well we'll have to see. There are many vaccines in the pipeline, 87 in pre-clinical trials, 54 in clinical trials, 13 in that late-stage phase three trial so there are a lot of vaccines in the pipeline and there may end up being vaccines that are better overall or for particular subgroups coming along in the pipeline."

Those subgroups are vaccines that may work better for example, for older Americans or for children.

He says even when vaccine is green-lit, there will likely still be complications.

"People are going to have bad health-- bad health outcomes after they receive a vaccine, even if it's not related at all to the vaccine because of the populations that we're targeting: older adults, people with co-morbid conditions."

Dr. Moss singled out other vaccine concerns, mostly having to do with logistics.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require two shots spread over a period of time to effectively work.

If someone misses a shot, that would cause immunity issues, defeating the vaccine's purpose.

They also want a vaccine that's more heat-stable.

The Pfizer vaccine needs to be kept at 94 degrees zero to keep it's effectiveness.