By: Paul Menefee, CFO Tekton Research
Benjamin Franklin became a strong advocate for vaccines after losing a beloved son to smallpox. The vaccines used, at that time, were not refined but still more protective than natural exposure to infectious diseases. Although this man was an extraordinary inventor, scientist, diplomate and political figure, he experienced his fair share of uncertainty and retribution around the smallpox vaccine. I find his experience with the smallpox vaccine is an apt metaphor for our time dealing with the coronavirus.
The health threats we are facing today with COVID-19 are real. In just a few short months COVID-19 has caused great turmoil and suffering around the world. At this moment, I have found Dr. Anthony Fauci to be a needed influence. He has studied infectious diseases throughout his career and his ability to communicate is exceptional. The basis of Dr. Fauci’s message is scientific understanding and not based on politics.
Trust Vs. Vaccines
I believe he knows well that public trust is what is on trial, not a vaccine to fight off the virus. The public’s ability to trust that vaccines are protective is simply more important than finding a working vaccine. Why? Well… what good is a vaccine for a virus if no one is willing to get it when it’s developed? Nobody understands that or believes it more profoundly than Dr. Fauci.
Thus far, the results of early testing in small populations are compelling but, that just means we are more assured of its safety and potential. In order to develop an effective vaccine, testing is needed to determine if any of the early candidates will prove to develop antibodies in large populations.
According to Healthline In the past few years, opposition to vaccinations has been discussed more frequently in the news. Concerned parents are opting to forgo vaccinations for their children for many different reasons. This has resulted in a surge of infectious diseases that had been previously or nearly eradicated. Some common reasons people oppose vaccinations are: allergies, religious beliefs, beliefs that vaccines cause other illnesses or even fear of being injected with a microchip. The last opposition has to be my favorite ludicrous notion.
Where are we now in the development of a Coronavirus vaccine?
Currently, Phase 3 testing is now underway and will be a rigorous and extensive process.
Many people have said the process of vaccine development feels rushed. Understandably, we have never before developed a vaccine this quickly. However, this is largely a reflection of the extent of the collaboration and resources devoted to finding an effective vaccine. In addition, we have not started from scratch, but have begun the development with proven technology and leveraged working platforms on which to develop an effective vaccine. As you read this, a solution to this virus is being sought by many teams simultaneously throughout the world. The Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker notes 6 Phase, 3 trials, and over 140 in a preclinical phase. Finally, Dr. Fauci notes that while we are willing to incur financial risk, we will not take any shortcuts on safety and the Tekton Research team can stand by that statement one-hundred percent!
These COVID-19 vaccine trials we are conducting matter. They will be conducted under intense scrutiny, and the results of the trials will be evaluated carefully.
Let history judge us for applying our best efforts to combat this disease.
Benjamin Franklin notes,
“In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.”