HUTCHINSON — Former Kansas Gov. Dr. Jeff Colyer sees the COVID-19 response from the state as being more localized than one size fits all.
"We don't need to do this as one big sledgehammer," Colyer said. "This is a surgical operation. Working by individual county for schools, for businesses, is the best way of doing this. That way, you don't close down things that don't need to be closed and wear people out."
Colyer acknowledges the seriousness of the COVID-19 issue, but it's also important to use the new knowledge we're getting about the virus over the last several months to guide that response.
"We understand about distancing," Colyer said. "You and I are distancing now. You can have an interaction. We can work. We've learned so much about telehealth. We know how restaurants can work better with having some simple barriers and some spacing. There are a lot of things that we can do that have a big impact without making everybody sit at home. That's the problem. We need to isolate the few to protect the many."
Colyer also is confident we will get to therapies that work, but that it's likely there will be no single silver bullet for COVID-19.
"I'm currently on the scientific board for a company that has a vaccine," Colyer said. "We actually begin our human trials here in the next week or two. It's going to be important that we get several vaccines. You're probably going to need three or four different kind of vaccines to make sure they're absolutely safe. Certain vaccines may work better, say, in an older population, or another one in kids. Spending a lot of effort on that is very important."
Colyer was announced earlier this month as a member of the Arcturus Therapeutics Vaccine Platform Scientific Advisory Board. The key to the vaccine Arcturus is proposing is that it would be a single dose, while other candidates would require booster shots to work.