Start mass production of promising Wuhan vaccines before testing is complete

In watching some of the news coverage and commentary on this problem, I have been shocked.  Have we turned into a nation of wimps?  Nonsense!  We are every bit as good as our mothers, fathers, and grandparents were in 1941.  We're Americans!  We can do it.  Here's how.

The ultimate solution to this problem is a vaccine.  Some sort of antiviral treatment would be a big help in the short run, but the long run answer is a vaccine.  At the beginning of WWII, when the scientists realized that an atomic bomb was a real possibility, there were three possible approaches to building a bomb.  Not knowing which would work, we funded all three.  Millions of dollars and collossal efforts were wasted, but we got a bomb.

We should do the same thing now.  Around the world, a number of vaccines have been developed or are in development or testing.  We should start producing the vaccines immediately or as soon as production facilities can be identified and made ready to do so.  I'm not talking about test quantities.  I mean production of doses by the tens of millions and maybe hundreds of millions.  How many different vaccines?  However many look promising enough, and for which we can find production facilities.

Yes, I mean to start production before efficacy testing and, for engineered vaccines, maybe even before safety testing.  Much of the resulting vaccine will, no doubt, be eventually thrown away or incinerated when it fails testing.  No private firm could afford such profligacy, but the U.S. Government can.  However much it costs, the cost will pale in comparison to the damage this virus is doing to our economy.

In the near term, an antiviral or other treatment that would alleviate the worst effects of the disease would be really helpful.  The same principle can be applied.  Identify promising drugs and begin mass production as soon as facilities can be identified or modified to produce the drugs.  Again, we may find that we have produced tons of drugs that fail testing, but we will have the ones that work available sooner.

While I view safety testing as critical, I'm not at all sure that we should be waiting for efficacy testing.  For every day's delay in getting a vaccine, thousands and maybe millions of people are exposed to the virus itself.  In effect the virus becomes its own vaccine.  What could be more dangerous?  What person in his right mind would propose exposing people to the live virus to give them immunity?  In effect that's what you are doing when you delay making a real vaccine available to the public.

We could say to the American people:  "Here is a vaccine.  It's safe and we think it might work, but we are not sure.  If you like, we will give it to you."  Vaccine A could be allotted to New York, Vaccine B to California, etc.  Some people would take a pass, but I'm sure others would line up for the shots.  By tracking the people who got the various vaccines, we would find out pretty quickly which ones were working.

There are people out there who know how to make these vaccines and drugs, and facilities that can produce or can be modified to produce them.  Let's get to work, identify the knowledge and facilities we need, and start production!  Let's show the world what America can do!

In watching some of the news coverage and commentary on this problem, I have been shocked.  Have we turned into a nation of wimps?  Nonsense!  We are every bit as good as our mothers, fathers, and grandparents were in 1941.  We're Americans!  We can do it.  Here's how.

The ultimate solution to this problem is a vaccine.  Some sort of antiviral treatment would be a big help in the short run, but the long run answer is a vaccine.  At the beginning of WWII, when the scientists realized that an atomic bomb was a real possibility, there were three possible approaches to building a bomb.  Not knowing which would work, we funded all three.  Millions of dollars and collossal efforts were wasted, but we got a bomb.

We should do the same thing now.  Around the world, a number of vaccines have been developed or are in development or testing.  We should start producing the vaccines immediately or as soon as production facilities can be identified and made ready to do so.  I'm not talking about test quantities.  I mean production of doses by the tens of millions and maybe hundreds of millions.  How many different vaccines?  However many look promising enough, and for which we can find production facilities.

Yes, I mean to start production before efficacy testing and, for engineered vaccines, maybe even before safety testing.  Much of the resulting vaccine will, no doubt, be eventually thrown away or incinerated when it fails testing.  No private firm could afford such profligacy, but the U.S. Government can.  However much it costs, the cost will pale in comparison to the damage this virus is doing to our economy.

In the near term, an antiviral or other treatment that would alleviate the worst effects of the disease would be really helpful.  The same principle can be applied.  Identify promising drugs and begin mass production as soon as facilities can be identified or modified to produce the drugs.  Again, we may find that we have produced tons of drugs that fail testing, but we will have the ones that work available sooner.

While I view safety testing as critical, I'm not at all sure that we should be waiting for efficacy testing.  For every day's delay in getting a vaccine, thousands and maybe millions of people are exposed to the virus itself.  In effect the virus becomes its own vaccine.  What could be more dangerous?  What person in his right mind would propose exposing people to the live virus to give them immunity?  In effect that's what you are doing when you delay making a real vaccine available to the public.

We could say to the American people:  "Here is a vaccine.  It's safe and we think it might work, but we are not sure.  If you like, we will give it to you."  Vaccine A could be allotted to New York, Vaccine B to California, etc.  Some people would take a pass, but I'm sure others would line up for the shots.  By tracking the people who got the various vaccines, we would find out pretty quickly which ones were working.

There are people out there who know how to make these vaccines and drugs, and facilities that can produce or can be modified to produce them.  Let's get to work, identify the knowledge and facilities we need, and start production!  Let's show the world what America can do!