Will There Be a Vaccine for SARS? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/29/03

Will There Be a Vaccine for SARS?

With the SARS epidemic causing increased anxiety worldwide, the government wants the search for treatment to become more urgent. And while some pharmaceutical companies are anxious to invest in this, they are also waiting for some direction as to where the funding is going to come from.

"Vaccines like other pharmaceutical products usually take 10 to 15 years to develop. It is a very expensive process, and it is a very risky process," says Sara Radcliffe, PHRMA spokesman.

"Unless it's incredibly effective, what's the point, in the United States for example, no one has died yet. Yet, with certain vaccines, you could have more deaths from the vaccine than you actually have from the disease," says Matthew Geller, CIBC.

Biotech analysts say the bottom line is: what's the long-term market for SARS given the huge investment? What happens if the virus goes away?

The weather may help because scientists are hoping SARS will be a seasonal illness, much like the flu, which would mean that as the temperatures go up, the rate of SARS could go down.

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