After the world fought for the successful development of the vaccination process for every disease but nobody predicted that it would be the small virus, appearing as a next infection causes disease and threaten the globe around the world, posing some serious consequences as flu is considered to be the greatest pandemic risk which made every virologist around the world to hedge their bets by working on the prototype pathogens. 

With the confirmed cases of COVID-19 surpassing over 9 million and continue to grow, scientists have started working, around the globe, ever since this disease came to be known as a deadly one. They are pushing forward to develop vaccines and treatments for slowing down pandemic and lessen the damage caused by this disease. 

Some of the early treatments were likely to be drugs already approved for other conditions and were tested on other viruses. However, the world was looking forward to a more effective remedy to bring this pandemic to an abrupt end. Several companies worked and are still struggling for a consistent remedy to develop antiviral drugs for treating viruses like COVID-19 that can be used as a preventive measure against the disease. 

Coronavirus vaccine trials advance in race for protection

Almost about 35 companies, including the academic institutions, have turned towards racing to create vaccine among the four of which have already tested that on animals; the first among these is produced by Boston based Biotech from Moderna and are soon thinking for taking imminent trials upon humans. This unmatched speed for the final vaccine declaration and its early efforts for sequencing the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that caused the present virus Covid-19, was taken by China who shared the sequence of genetic material in early days of January, which made the research groups all around the world to grow it and show how it invades human cells, making people sick.

As the global push is accelerating, Russia emerges to be clearing the world’s first shot for widespread use even before completing the clinical trials. The other countries, along with their laboratories, are racing to secure supplies of other shots. Other than the Russian Federation, several other universities have received the authorization already to develop vaccines. Those from the University of Oxford with AstraZeneca Plc., Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc., and BioNTech SE are among the vanguard. China’s Can Sino Biologics has received authorization for a limited deployment of its shot among the Chinese military.

Progress on treating those already infected has been slower, with Gilead Sciences Inc.’s Remdesivir receiving an emergency use authorization in the U.S. and decades-old generic drug dexamethasone showing promise studies. 

 

Vaccine (Latest update 10 August 2020)

Coronavirus Vaccine Development
Coronavirus Vaccine Development

Globally, after Russia, at least 19 vaccine candidates have, as of 31 July 2020, entered clinical trials, including phase 2 and 3 trials. Established and new technologies are being utilized to develop COVID-19 vaccine like a whole-inactivated virus, live attenuated virus, protein subunit, replicating and non-replicating viral vectors SARS-CoV-2 proteins as well as DNA and RNA technologies delivering gene sequences that encode SARS-CoV-2 proteins that then are produced by host cells. 

After July 2020, EMA has been in contact with 38 candidates of COVID-19 developers. However, it might take at least until the beginning of 2021 before a vaccine against COVID-19 is ready for approval and available in sufficient quantities to enable widespread use.

Many challenges and opportunities for developing vaccines against COVID-19 have been the part of vaccine design, testing, and implementation, but the major challenge is to avoid safety issues. A syndrome of “disease enhancement” has been reported for a few viral vaccines where those immunized suffered increased severity of infection or death when they later encountered the virus. Since some SARS-CoV-1 vaccines have shown evidence of disease enhancement in some animal models, this is a concern for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

The development process for a vaccine

The following process is followed for vaccine authorization under which testing is done in small groups for the effectiveness at first. Followed by some safety trials in which the vaccine is then tested on a large scale and prepared for the final usage.  

 

·        Phase 1

Testing in small groups for safety

·        Phase 2

Larger tests for effectiveness

·        Phase 3

Large-scale efficacy and safety trials

·        Approval

Allowed under emergency use authorization or other limited use authorizations

Researching for a vaccine, testing for it, and then developing it is not simple. The vaccine development for COVID-19 might take more than 12 to 18 months or possibly longer. However, once an effective vaccine is developed, it would work similarly to a flu vaccine, protecting against the development of COVID-19.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), creating a vaccine requires six stages of development. Those stages include discovering a potential vaccine, testing in cell cultures and animal models, clinical testing in humans for safety, effectiveness, and dosage, applying for approval, manufacturing, and quality control.

A clinical trial recently began in Washington of an investigational vaccine for COVID-19. The vaccine, called mRNA-1273, is the first to be tested in humans. Several other organizations worldwide are working to develop coronavirus vaccines, with additional clinical trials expected in summer 2020. 

Several vaccines are under process, but the experts seem to think that the vaccine process might take a year or 18 months before one comes available. 

Coronaviruses have caused two other pandemics, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS); their vaccination process also underwent in the laboratories. However, later the work was shelved as its outbreak got under control. 

One company, Maryland-based Novavax, has now repurposed those vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 and says it has several candidates ready to enter human trials this spring. Meanwhile, Moderna built on earlier work on the MERS virus conducted at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland. 

COVID-19 Treatment

 

COVID-19-Treatment
Pic Credit: NPR

No specific treatment for coronavirus is currently available. Care includes supportive management of symptoms and complications, including pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and advanced organ support. No permanent solution has been found by any organization that made everyone turn their eyes towards the World Health Organization for the prospect of Coronavirus Vaccine, which may prevent people from the rapid spread and its sickening effects. Until the final production of the coronavirus vaccine, at this moment, the good thing is good hygiene. If a coronavirus infects you, then for most people, it would be mild and can be treated at home with bed-rest, paracetamol, and plenty of fluids. Some patients may develop more severe disease and need hospital treatment.

The clinical trials were first carried out in the United States Remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19 at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Other clinical trials of the antiviral medication are underway in China.

Several other existing medications are being tested for their effectiveness against the novel coronavirus. These include the antimalarial drug chloroquine, the HIV medication lopinavir-ritonavir (Kaletra), and the antiviral ribavirin used to treat respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and hepatitis C.

Additionally, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns that alternative remedies, like herbal therapies and teas, do not prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19 and potentially harm one’s health.

WHAT TO DO UNTIL THE VACCINE IS READY

coronavirus vaccine
coronavirus vaccine

Until the final production of the coronavirus vaccine, at this moment, the good thing is good hygiene. If a coronavirus infects you, then for most people, it would be mild and can be treated at home with bed-rest, paracetamol, and plenty of fluids. Some patients may develop more severe disease and need hospital treatment. Even if the scientists may develop the vaccine for this year, there still will be a massive job of developing it into its mass production, which we might not be able to do it and the things might not run smoothly. It is vital to remember four coronaviruses already circulate in human beings. They cause the common cold, and we do not have vaccines for any of them.

There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.

The exact dynamics of how the virus is transmitted is yet to be determined, but in general respiratory viruses are usually spread from one person to person happened to be standing at a distance of about 6 feet of close contact and thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets production when the previously infected person coughs or sneezes which seems similar to how the other respiratory pathogens spread. The droplets on taking landing on the mouths or noses of people standing nearby can be inhaled in the lungs, but it remains still unclear that whether a person is affected by this exclusive virus through touching their mouth, nose, or their eyes. Typically people are considered to be highly contagious when they are most symptomatic and are sick; however, there have been reports of spread from an already infected patient to a close to with no symptoms, but this easiness in the spread of the contagious virus may vary which makes us learn more about its transmissibility, severity and the other associated features. 

Remember…

Until the final production of the coronavirus vaccine, at this moment, the good thing is good hygiene. If a coronavirus infects you, then for most people, it would be mild and can be treated at home with bed-rest, paracetamol, and plenty of fluids. Some patients may develop more severe disease and need hospital treatment.

Even if the scientists may develop the vaccine for this year, there still will be a massive job of developing it into its mass production, which we might not be able to do it, and the things might not run smoothly. It is vital to remember four coronaviruses already circulate in human beings. They cause the common cold, and we do not have vaccines for any of them.





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