With more than a million active cases and thousands of deaths, the world is now racing to find a coronavirus vaccine or medicine that can cure people infected with the virus. But it can take at least 18 to 24 months before we can have a vaccine that has gone through tests and approvals by the extensive clinical trials. There are 35 companies and institutions currently working on finding a coronavirus vaccine to stop the pandemic. Only four vaccine candidates have entered the clinical trial phase so far.
The good news is that we may soon have a vaccine for coronavirus!
A team led by Prof. Sarah Gilbert from Oxford University was assigned $2.8 million to extend her research on the vaccine for the COVid-19. The group has already gathered individuals for random clinical trials of the vaccine and is confident that their vaccine is the cure for coronavirus.
Gilbert, the professor of vaccinology, said in an interview “We hope to have some doses at least by September” It is the fourth vaccine to enter clinical trials.
She reckons 1 million doses, to be ready by September 2020. Many countries including India have already started manufacturing the vaccine.
The plan is to test the vaccine in multiple countries as infection rates are varying across the globe.
It works by helping the immune system to identify and attack the coronavirus, stimulating a T-cell response.
It is the fourth vaccine candidate to enter clinical trials, with two vaccine candidates from America and one from China already in the process.
In March, scientists were considering to use remdesivir to fight the corona pandemic as a vaccine.
Remdesivir, consisting of the active substance GS-441524 was developed as an antiviral drug against the Ebola virus during the time period 2013 to 2016.
This vaccine, like many other vaccines currently under research, works by targeting the spike protein, making the body produce virus-fighting antibodies and hence boosting your immune system.
Latest Updates on Coronavirus Vaccine
- Clinical trials for vaccine occurs in three phases.
- The first phase includes a few dozens of healthy volunteers wherein the vaccine is tested for safety and adverse reactions.
- The second phase includes testing the vaccine over hundreds of patients who are infected with the virus or disease.
- The third, where thousands of patients are tested in a similar way.
- In February, using Remdesivir, successful coronavirus clinical trials have been performed on animals.
- The first phase of coronavirus clinical trials on humans has been conducted in the United States.
- The phase 2 clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine are set to occur in spring or early summer.
- If phase two of the coronavirus clinical trials are successful, then phase 3 of the vaccine’s clinical trial will begin.
- In April, a professor of vaccinology, Sarah Gilbert from Oxford University developed a vaccine ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, also called viral vector vaccine.
- The team is already preparing candidates for its clinical trials and expects that the vaccine will be available in September 2020.
Finding A Vaccine For The Coronavirus: How Far Along Are We?
Over a couple of months, the COVID-19, aka Coronavirus is spreading across all over the world and infecting many people.
China was the first country to experience the outbreak. But it didn’t take long before the whole world had to deal with it. With Europe currently taking the greatest hit.
Italy and Spain are the worst-hit nations in Europe with more than 20,000 deaths in each country, far exceeding China’s 4,632 deaths due to the coronavirus.
Symptoms of the COVID-19
People, diagnosed with the virus may experience flu-like symptoms and mild to severe respiratory problems. Symptoms of the coronavirus also include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
These symptoms are normally easy to treat but can be fatal when it comes to people with low immune systems.
We need to be extra careful to people with preexisting conditions, or old people, people with respiratory illnesses like asthma, or other chronic diseases.
Thus, Coronavirus heavily impacts the health of many people around the world. Also, it badly impacts the world’s economy because most of the businesses are slowing down.
As a result, there has been a growing globing awareness that we need to join forces and take action to prevent the disease from spreading further.
Countries on Lockdown to Prevent The Spread
Most countries have gone into crisis mode and took measures to control the Corona pandemic. Some of these measures are:
- Working from home
- Schools switching to online courses
- Stores and restaurants opening for fewer hours
- Prevent traveling to other countries
- Forbidden to leave your house when it’s not absolutely necessary
Some countries have even gone into a full lock-down in order to keep infection risk to an absolute minimum. That’s why experts all over the world are currently putting their heads together on creating a vaccine for the Coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation is very positive that we will soon have a vaccine against this deadly virus.
Now, let’s take a look at the latest updates on the Coronavirus vaccine in the world.
Updates On The Coronavirus Vaccine In The United States
The United States is working hard to find a vaccine for the Coronavirus. Their president, Donald Trump, is really pushing his citizens in the hope that the United States will ultimately be the country responsible for bringing the first vaccine on the market.
1. The first clinical trials of the vaccine ‘Remdesivir’ to treat COVID-19 began in the United States at the end of last month.
2. The American company named ‘Gilead Sciences Inc’ developed Remdesivir as a cure for the Ebola virus. It has been tested on animals to combat the coronavirus.
3. Phase I human tests have started with a vaccine called mRNA-1273 developed by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc. 45 healthy adults between the age of 18 to 55 will participate in this test.
4. These volunteers in the Moderna trial are set to receive a two-dose vaccination schedule, 28 days apart. And scientists will monitor these subjects for 14 months to study adverse effects and how their immunity works.
The American renowned farmaceutical company Pfizer has stated that it will work together with the German medicinal company BioNTech to develop a vaccine together. What’s peculiar about the efforts in the United States is that American researchers have taken on a rather controversial approach that’s a big contrast to the approach of other countries.
The American scientists have decided to skip the step on animals and have decided to directly test it on healthy human volunteers, using the mRNA technology.
Firstly, they inject the vaccine candidate in healthy volunteers. To monitor their behavior and overall health, scientists keep these volunteers in specialized facilities.
With this method, the American scientists are hoping to find out if the volunteers will produce antibodies in reaction to the vaccine and kick start their immune system.
If that’s the case, it means that the vaccine is effective and works the way it is supposed to.
The findings of the American scientists thus far have been positive, but it’s still too early to make any kind of declarations because they still have a long way to go before there will be any definite results.
Besides looking for vaccines, American scientists have also begun to experiment with existing therapeutic drugs, etc. to search for ways to relieve some of the Coronavirus symptoms.
The results deriving from those experiments aren’t exposed to the public, so we can’t make any conclusions yet.
Updates On The Coronavirus Vaccine in China
China can be seen as a pioneer in this area, mainly because it was the first country that had to deal with the Coronavirus. We cannot underestimate the contribution of Chinese scientists. Thanks to their work, we now have a better picture of the composition of the virus.
Chinese researchers have studied the virus and specifically looked into the way it invades the bodies of those infected with it.
With their efforts, we have access to the genetic code of the virus, which should make it easier to generate a vaccine that’s able to respond to the virus in a way that destructs it. Besides that, those researches are currently experimenting with the virus and the vaccines that they have managed to create.
- Clinical trials of Remdesivir are also ongoing in China.
- Unlike America, China finished performing animal experiments on apes with regard to the Coronavirus. As a result, researchers have come to the striking observation that you become immune to the virus, once you have already been diagnosed with it once.
- The apes were injected with the virus, became sick and most of them recovered again. A month later, scientists inject the virus once more, but research shows that these apes were unable to become sick again. This is because their bodies have already produced enough antibodies.
This discovery is a great step towards finding a vaccine for the Coronavirus. Because it gives us insight into how the virus really works.
- Their methods seem to be working, as the Chinese scientists have managed to create a prototype vaccine for the Coronavirus.
- Chinese researches ran clinical trials on humans on the 21st of March and they are currently in the process of gathering candidates.
- Volunteers for the Phase 1 trials will be classified into three groups, consisting of low-dose, medium-dose, and high-dose groups, with 36 people in each group.
Furthermore, Chinese scientists have begun looking for ways to combat the symptoms of an infection with the Coronavirus. They seem to have found a way to do that with chloroquine. They used that substance on infected people and found that their symptoms decreased significantly.
Update on the Coronavirus vaccine in Europe
Lastly, the European Commission has decided to put a lot of money aside to help scientists in all European countries in the search for a Coronavirus vaccine.
More specifically, the Commission offered 80 million euros to a German company, CureVac to find a vaccine.
CoronaVirus Vaccine In Sweden
- Today, Sweden approves to test the Remdesivir vaccine and doctors can prescribe the same. Until actual manufacturing doesn’t roll out to set the price of the drug, it will be free of cost.
CoronaVirus Vaccine In The Netherlands
- Scientists in the Netherlands, have discovered the first antibody against the infection of the Coronavirus. With this information, they have gone to work and now they are in the middle of experimenting and testing with the antibody in the hopes of finding a vaccine.
- The Dutch scientists have also begun experimenting with the vaccines for the Ebola virus because they think that there are a lot of similarities between the two viruses. Again though, we’re still in the experimenting phase and nothing’s final yet!
CoronaVirus Medicine In Russia & Italy
Russian and Italian scientists are currently also in the process of testing possible vaccines on animals on the basis of 6 different high-tech platforms. They have just recently started experimenting, but already seem to be showing some progress.
CoronaVirus Medicine In Belgium
Finally, Belgium has also reached the preclinic phase in the meantime. Just like the Dutch scientists, Belgian scientists have found inspiration in other diseases while brainstorming for ideas for a Coronavirus vaccine.
At the moment, they have begun preclinical tests on a potential vaccine that’s based on the vaccine against yellow fever.
Concluding thoughts on Coronavirus Medicine,
To conclude, it’s not yet clear which country will be the first to succeed in completing the clinal tests and manufacturing the medicine for coronavirus on a large scale. Even less clear is when this actually would be.
However, scientists are confident about finding a vaccine for the Coronavirus, the work is far from done. Volunteers who are subjected to the virus must be monitored for a good amount of time to observe side effects or adverse reactions.
Besides that, we will face many logistical obstacles as well before we can bring the vaccines on the worldwide market considering the limitations of the import-export of goods currently.
It’s essential to take it one step at a time and we will cross that bridge when we get to it!
Key Takeaways on Coronavirus Medicine & Vaccine
- There are currently more than a million active cases of coronavirus in the world with the highest number of deaths in Italy. A medicine for coronavirus is the need of the hour.
- Several countries are and doctors are at a race battling the situation of coronavirus in the world.
- Currently, there are 35 companies working on the vaccine for coronavirus with several countries having their coronavirus clinical trials on humans.
- The American company named ‘Gilead Sciences Inc’ produced Remdesivir as a cure for the Ebola virus. The vaccine has also gone through the animal testing phase of the clinical trials.
- The first clinical trials of the vaccine ‘Remdesivir’ to treat COVID-19 began in the United States at the end of last month.
- Clinical trials of the Remdesivir vaccine on humans are also ongoing in China.
- The European Commission offered 80 million euros to a German company, CureVac to find a vaccine for COVID-19.
- Today, Sweden approves to test the Remdesivir vaccine and doctors can prescribe the same.
- Scientists in the Netherlands, have discovered the first antibody against the infection of the Coronavirus.
- Phase I human tests on humans have started with a vaccine called mRNA-1273 developed by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc.
- With successful clinical trials, coronavirus medicine is on its way into the world.
- But we must still be responsible and practice social distancing to avoid the spread of the virus.
- Maintain proper hygiene and avoid social contact until you’re safe enough to return to your normal life.
More Interesting Facts About The Coronavirus
- 103 years old Chinese woman is the oldest person to be cured of the coronavirus infection.
- Italian tourist women and her 69-year-old husband cured by Indian doctors.
- 90-year-old women in Seattle recovers from the virus.
- The immediate risk of becoming seriously ill from the coronavirus is considerably low.
How did these old people fight the virus?
Share your opinions about the situation of coronavirus in the world. What are your thoughts about the coronavirus medicine or vaccine? Do you think that we would be able to produce the vaccine at this scale? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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