“We’re hoping this can be the first licensable vaccine regimen in the world,” said Gail Bekker. She acknowledged that this is unlikely to occur purely as a result of the upcoming trial, but hopes the results will provide the evidence needed by manufacturers and vaccine regulators to take it further.
“I don’t think we are going to treat [our] way out of this epidemic, ” added Gail Bekker. “We are ultimately going to need a vaccine to shut it down.”
The first vaccines made available are unlikely to provide enough protection for use on their own, but will instead be needed in combination with the plethora of prevention, treatment and social interventions already in use.
“A vaccine is still hugely important for the epidemic,” said Sharon Lewin, director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. “Even though we have all these prevention options, nothing will be as good as a vaccine.”