The COVID-19 pandemic has had global catastrophic effects on financial markets,
jobs and peoples’ lives. Future prevention/therapy of COVID-19 will rely heavily
on vaccine development and attempts to repurpose drugs previously used for other microbial
diseases. Little attention, however, has been paid to possible difficulties and delays
in producing these drugs. Sometimes, unfortunately, these endeavours have been politicized
and if these two approaches founder in any way or resistance subsequently occurs,
then the world will be left once again to the mercy of these devastating viral pandemics.
This review, therefore, briefly outlines the challenges in the development of vaccines and
repurposed antiviral drugs, which will hopefully lead to new treatments for COVID-19.
It also concludes, however, that the armoury against COVID-19 urgently needs to be enlarging
due to the potential severity and likely future reoccurrence of new emergent viruses.
Therefore, serious consideration is given to alternative ways of preventing and controlling
these pathogens that have received scant attention from the media in the present
pandemic. The development of innovative, broad-spectrum, antiviral drugs from natural
products is therefore particularly advocated with the challenges involved by new regulatory
and scientific initiatives.