Targeting fall for emergency use . . . for the general population our target goal is next spring
A team in Oxford University is claiming availability in September, but it is not clear how long it will take to ramp up production for the general population:
On the other hand Dr. Fauci is much less optimistic:
At least a year to a year and a half at best. . .
The fact that some people who have had COVID-19 and later relapse shows that many people may not develop a lasting immunity to the virus. In addition, recent research is showing that the virus is continuing to mutate so vaccines may not be enough to prevent new infections:
. . .unexpected structural change "raises the alarm that the ongoing vaccine development may become futile in future epidemic if more mutations were identified"
The timing and effectiveness of a vaccine are critical on multiple levels. If a vaccine is really available by September, then it is likely that limited shutdowns and summer weather may be sufficient to prevent an epidemic until the vaccine becomes available.
If we really are not going have working vaccine for another 1.5 years or more, then continued shutdowns become totally ridiculous. State and local governments will all be bankrupt, and the economy will be in collapse if lockdowns continue for anything like that period of time.
My opinion is the only reasonable alternative if no vaccine becomes available will be isolation for the aged and those with high risk factors, while the rest of the population builds the necessary herd immunity to end epidemics.
What is our plan B if vaccines turn out to be ineffective or take several years to develop?