While the whole world is eagerly waiting for a coronavirus vaccine to be available, Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk has said that he and his family will not get coronavirus vaccine shots when it becomes available, because they are not at risk.
His statement comes even as the United States occupies the top spot among nations worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
In a recent New York Times’ podcast interview, Elon Musk said he does not plan to get COVID-19 vaccine shots and also played down the need and efficacy of country-wide lockdowns to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
When Musk was told that the novel coronavirus has killed millions of people across the world, the billionaire said: “Everybody dies”.
He further said: “Essentially, the right thing to do would be to not have done a lockdown for the whole country but to have, I think, anyone who is at risk should be quarantined until the storm passes.”
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Notably, Elon Musk had earlier called the coronavirus “dumb” and the fear and paranoia surrounding it a “mind-killer”. He had even claimed that the COVID 19 fatality rate is overstated. Musk had told his employees in March that their chances of dying in car accident is higher than the chances of them dying of the novel coronavirus infection.That apart he had had a meltdown in April and tweeted: “FREE AMERICA NOW”, adding: “Give people their freedom back”. He had cited a report that claimed the coronavirus lockdown had not helped save lives in America.