The Pandemic Accelerated Life Sciences – What Next?
Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, is obsessed with COVID but also, like Americans, quite optimistic. He said one triumph of the recent period is how quickly science was able to move–creating highly effective vaccines with unprecedented speed. Those vaccines “are going to get us out of this mess that we’re in,” he explained. “The average time it takes for a successful vaccine is eight-and-a-half years.” But we got these in less than a year, and they are more effective than any just about any vaccines ever.
Topol says there is too much concern with what he calls “scariants.” “All these news headlines like, ‘The Devil Is Already Here’ and ‘The Double Mutant’ and all these things…[but] right now there’s really just a handful of variants that are real, that they all should be considered innocent until proven guilty.” Most importantly, he emphasized, our already-approved vaccines seem in general very effective at preventing infection with them.