PD 08 - Bringing the COVID-19 Epidemic under Control - World Health Summit 2020
2 years ago
COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 has changed the world. It is obvious that it can only be brought under control by breakthroughs in research & innovation. These include, first of all, the 3 canonical pillars of medical intervention, namely diagnosis, therapy and vaccination. In addition, host-directed therapies and biomarkers are needed.
Diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection based on RNA measurements is well established and broadly used. Diagnosis of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 based on serum antibody measurements is in progress and validated tests will become available soon. Efficacious treatment by antiviral compounds is progressing and emphasis has been given to drugs that had been developed previously for other viral infections.
Global access to efficacious intervention measures, notably vaccines, will face the issue of (i) supply of large numbers (hundreds of millions) of doses and (ii) affordable price. Hence, discussions need to be initiated as soon as possible on issues such as rapid large-scale vaccine production and affordable pricing (e.g. dual-price concepts for high vs. low income countries).