As the COVID-19 pandemic has gripped the world, many outlets have turned their attention to the race for a vaccine - with some describing it as a 'holy grail'.
The virus is widely believed to have originated from a wet market in Wuhan, China, towards the end of 2019. Since then, it has spread worldwide, killing 352,746 globally (at the time of writing) and causing economic devastation due to unprecedented lockdowns.
As a result, many have pinned their hopes on a vaccine. But as Plant Based News' Klaus Mitchell points out in this exclusive video, some experts have recently adopted a more cautious tone, with the World Health Organization's Health Emergency Program's executive director Dr. Michael Ryan saying the virus may 'never go away'.
"And they are right to be cautious," says Mitchell in the video. "Because the chances of a COVID-19 vaccine being the magic bullet out of this situation are very slim.
"Here's why: looking back at history there are plenty of diseases that never had a vaccine. Takes SARS, HIV, dengue fever, and malaria, just to name a few examples. And that's because creating an effective vaccine is really hard.
"Using traditional methods, the purified components of the virus would be injected into humans in low doses to trigger an immune response, the idea being that when the virus strikes, our body is ready to fight it off."
Mitchell points out that this type of vaccine has a typical lead time from lab to humans of around 10-20 years, but adds that with modern technology, that timeline can be 'significantly compressed'.
"We can now create vaccines without actually having a specimen of the virus as long as we know its genetic sequence. That's why within just three hours of Chinese officials publishing the genetic sequence for COVID-19 on January 10, one pharmaceutical company all the way in Pennsylvania already had a prototype ready for testing.
"And with 100 potential vaccines already under development, the idea is that surely one of them will do the trick. But success is by no means guaranteed."