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Watch and wait

July 21, 2020

If you walk into the health section of many grocery stores, you will find hundreds of supplements claiming to boost the immune system. Which claims are nothing but marketing bullshit. What actually does boost the immune system is a vaccine. So it is good that a few of the ones under development for Covid-19 are showing good, early results.

And we should hope that the positive result from Synairgen’s interferon treatment for Covid-19 proves out.

Don’t be surprised, though, when some of these drugs now touted later fail. Drug development is a risky path fraught with pitfalls and false hopes. I suspect many people, reading news about it only with regard to Covid-19, start to get disappointed, and some even paranoid. “First they say one thing. Then another. Put hope in one drug or vaccine, and then say it is no good.” That’s neither bad reporting nor the result of anything nefarious. It just is the nature of the beast.

That nebulized interferon trial was randomized against placebo and double blind. As are vaccine trials. Which gives them more legs than some of the Covid-19 studies much touted by some segments of the media that have not been. Those processes are not formalities — they are how researchers keep from fooling themselves. It was a small trial. And the results may differ in a larger trial, or unfortunate limitation or side effect show itself. As with the vaccines under development, we must watch and wait. Ideally, we will get multiple vaccines and therapies that are effective.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Douglas Rothkopf permalink
    July 21, 2020 4:21 pm

    Bring it on.

  2. July 22, 2020 8:12 am

    According to this Wired article, while the vaccines do seem to work, they also have significant (but not life-threatening) side effects, like headaches, fever, and chills. The companies developing them are downplaying those side effects.

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