Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccines are starting to be tested in humans, but scientists are cautioning they are still months away
Coronavirus COVID-19, the potentially lethal respiratory disease first identified in December 2019, has spread around the globe, causing significant events to be canceled, postponing sporting seasons and putting many into self-imposed quarantine. As health experts and policymakers seek to stop the spread, researchers are concentrating their attention on the disease-causing coronavirus: SARS-CoV-2.
As it was first identified as the modern disease’s causative agent, experts have been working to obtain a deeper understanding of the genetic structure of the virus, how it afflicts cells and how it can be safely handled. There is actually no treatment, and medical practitioners are only able to treat the disease’s effects. The long-term plan to counter Coronavirus COVID-19 is to develop a vaccine.
It takes time to formulate new vaccines, and they must be tested rigorously and proven safe by clinical trials before they can be widely used in humans. Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has repeatedly confirmed that a vaccine is at least one year away. Scientists agree there’s still a way to go yet.
Vaccines are essential to prevent disease. Thanks to vaccine production, we have been able to keep several infectious diseases at bay for decades. Even so, their utility is confused and awkward. In this guide, we will briefly discuss what vaccines are, why they are so important, and how scientists in combating coronavirus will use them.
What is a vaccine and how it works?
A vaccine is a sort of treatment intended to activate the body’s immune system to combat infectious and diseases, such as viruses and bacteria. They’re “one of the most important ways to prevent disease,” according to the World Health Organization.
Having evolved a natural defense mechanism against nasty diseases such as bacteria and viruses causing microorganisms, the human body is particularly immune to the disease. The defense system of our immune system is comprised of different white blood cell types that can detect and kill foreign invaders. Others engulf bacteria, and antibodies that can tell the body what to kill and eliminate the bacteria and other cells transcribe what the invaders look like so that the human body can react very quickly when they enter again.
Vaccines are a brilliant substance. It makes the body believe that it is tainted, so the immune system’s response is activated. The measles vaccine, for example, tricks the body into thinking that it has measles. Once you are vaccinated for measles, the measles virus is registered in your body. In the future, if you come into contact with it, the immune system in the body remains prepared to beat it off before you get sick.
What substance is in the Vaccines.
Vaccines contain a variety of ingredients based on the form of the vaccine, and they help to produce an immune response. There’s a certain similarity between them all, though.
The Antigen and adjuvant are the most essential and primary ingredients of a vaccine. The Antigen is the first essential ingredient that can be recognized as foreign by the body. Based on the form of the vaccine, molecules from viruses such as a DNA strand or a protein may be an antigen. Instead, it may be reduced versions of live microorganisms. The measles vaccine, for example, includes a weakened strain of the measles virus. Once a patient receives the measles vaccine, their immune system identifies and learns to fend off an antigen that is found on the measles virus.
The adjuvant is a second essential ingredient. Adjuvant acts to enhance the immune response to an antigen. It depends on the vaccine whether it contains adjuvant or not, it depends on what sort of vaccine is.
Some vaccines can be stored in multiple-use vials, and as such contained preservatives that meant that they could remain on a shelf without developing any harmful bacteria in them. One of this kind preservative is thimerosal, which in recent times has gained much attention because it contains trace amounts of the easily cleaned ethylmercury. According to the CDC, its use in vaccines has not been shown to cause harm. Single-use vials are now accessible in places like Australia, and thus additives such as thimerosal are no longer required in most vaccines. Scientists need to find a suitable antigen to develop a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, which will activate the body’s immune system to protect against infection.
Developing a COVID-19 vaccine
SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen at the root of the outbreak, belongs to the virus family known as coronaviruses. The family is so-called because they appear on their surface under a microscope with a crown-like shape.
In preparing a vaccine targeting SARS-CoV-2, scientists are intensively looking at those projections. The projections allow the virus to invade human body cells where they can duplicate itself and make copies. Scientists have been able to trace the projections in 3D, called “S” proteins or “spike proteins”, and testing indicates they may be a viable antigen in coronavirus vaccine.
That’s because the spike proteins are abundant in coronaviruses we’ve fought in the past. Just like the one that triggered the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in China in 2002-2003, It has provided researchers ahead starts on developing vaccines against part of the spike protein and, using animal models, have shown they can produce an immune response.
A lot of companies around the world are trying to develop a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, exploring different ways of stimulating the immune system. Some of the most common methods are those that used a relatively new form of vaccine known as a “nucleic acid vaccine,” which is programmable and incorporates a small bit of genetic code to serve as the Antigen.
Biotech companies such as Moderna were able to rapidly produce new designs of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 by taking a piece of the spike protein genetic code and fusing it with fatty nanoparticles that can be injected into the human body. Imperial College London uses coronavirus RNA, the genetic code to develop a similar vaccine. Another biotech company Pennsylvania Inovio is developing DNA strands which it hopes will induce an immune response. While these types of vaccines can be quickly developed, none have yet to be put onto the market.
Both French pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and “Johnson & Johnson” collaborate with the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to develop their vaccines. Sanofi aims to combine coronavirus DNA with harmless virus genetic content. At the same time, Johnson & Johnson will try to disable SARS-CoV-2, effectively turning off its disease-causing capacity while hoping that it will trigger the immune system.
Many research organizations, like Boston Children’s Hospital, are studying various forms of adjuvants which will help improve the immune system. According to the Harvard Gazette, this strategy should be geared more at the elderly, who when vaccinated do not respond as effectively. It is expected that the elderly will be able to be treated with a combination of components that will overburden their immunity by researching adjuvants to improve a vaccine.
How long we have to wait for the Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine?
Director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Mr. Anthony Fauci suggests that a vaccine is at least one and a half years away. At the same time, clinical trials are expected to begin within the next month or two. That is a fast turnaround, as per a “60 minute” interview with Anthony Fauci in March.
“The good news is we did it more quickly than we’ve ever done it,” Fauci said in an interview with 60 Minutes in March. “The sobering news is that it’s not ready for primetime, for what we’re going through now,”
To develop a vaccine, it takes so long because it requires to follow a number of steps and plenty of regulatory hurdles.
Bruce Thompson, dean of health at Swinburne University in Australia Said “For any medicine to be sold it needs to go through the standard process of clinical trials including phase 1 to 3 trials and We need to ensure that the medicine is safe, will not harm, and know-how effective it is”
Experts can not presume that their vaccine concept is just going to work. They need to test it several times. To guarantee a vaccine’s safety and how effective it can be, so they require to hire many people.
The process can be divided down into six stages
- Vaccine design
The scientist tries to understand pathogens and determining whether they can identify the immune system.
- Animal studies
First, a newly developed vaccine is tested in animals to check disease to prove that it is valid and does not have any significant adverse effects.
- Clinical trials Phase 1
These constitute the first human experiments and evaluate a vaccine’s health, dosage, and side effects. Only a small number of patients involved in these trials.
- Clinical Trials Phase 2
This is a more in-depth study of how scientifically the vaccine does function. It requires a broader number of patients, which measures the behavioral reactions of treatment experiences. For example, a coronavirus trial may determine whether a vaccine somehow activates the immune system.
- Clinical trials phase 3.
The third and final phase of trials sees a broader number of patients or volunteers tested over a long-time duration.
- Regulators’ approval.
The final step is to see regulatory authorities, such as the US Food and Drug Administration, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration and the European Medicines to review the available data from research and studies and conclude that the vaccine treatment option will be given a clean chit to use.
Typically, though, a new vaccine may take years to go from concept to approval. Furthermore, after the regulatory mechanisms have determined that a vaccine is active, the drug makers must send out production to protection mode so that they can produce enough of the vaccine to improve immunity in the broader population.
In SARS-CoV-2 Case is looks different because for some instances the process is being accelerated. In some cases, the process is being accelerated with SARS-CoV-2. As stated by STATnews, Moderna’s vaccine in development has transferred from development straight into Phase I clinical trials of its mRNA vaccine, skipping animal model studies. Both assessments will be conducted at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Institute in Seattle, and patients have already been registered. However, health staff and medical specialists will depend on the existing treatment options before that time.
How do you treat Coronavirus COVID-19?
The best way to prevent illness that you remain isolated from infected people. Here are some tips below that you can follow as directed by a medical specialist.
- If you are infected, you will be told to isolate yourself for 14 days, to avoid further transmission of the disease. You can seek medical attention if the symptoms worsen and you experience shortness of breath, high fever, and lethargy. Avoid self-medication, as antibiotic designed to kill bacteria, won’t help you to fight against SARS-CoV-2.
- The diagnosis of COVID-19 cases in hospital is focused on the most effective way of treating patient symptoms. Doctors insert a tube into the airway for patients so that they can be connected to ventilators to help regulate breathing.
- There is no proven treatment specified for Coronavirus COVID-19 yet. Still, a number of methods are in the works, including new antivirals that can combat the virus, and proven drugs aimed at other infections such as HIV that have shown some efficacy in the treatment.
Remdesivir, an advanced antiviral made by Gilead Sciences, a pharmaceutical company, has gained much of the limelight. The drug has been used in China, Italy, and the US, but only on a “compassionate basis.” Technically, this drug has not been licensed but can be used on seriously ill patients outside of a clinical trial. Remdesivir isn’t planned explicitly to destroy SARS-CoV-2. Instead, it operates by wiping out a piece of machinery inside the virus, known as “RNA polymerase,” which is repeated by other infections. Historically it is useful in models of human cells and mouse.
An HIV drug, Kaletra / Aluvia, was used to treat COVID-19 in China. The drug was given as an experimental alternative for Chinese patients during “the early days” of battling the virus. The company recommends partnering with public health agencies like the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Chloroquine, a drug that has been used for around 70 years to treat malaria, has been discussed as a possible candidate. This appears capable of blocking viruses from binding and replicating human cells. This activates the immune system, as well. Chloroquine was shown to be effective in combating SARS-CoV-2 by a letter to the editor in the journal Nature on Feb 4. A Chinese study from Guangdong notes that chloroquine has improved patient outcomes and could “boost care success rate” and “shorten hospital stay.”
How do you protect yourself against Coronavirus COVID-19? (Cautions)
For now, the only way to avoid the spread is to continue to practice good personal hygiene and to minimize contact with others. “Such basic things like hand washing and hand sanitizing are the right thing to do,” said Thompson as the coronavirus vaccine is a long time away, so it is not a good idea to only relying on it.
WHO provides a large number of resources to protect yourself from infection. It’s evident that the virus can spread quickly, and there has been transmission around the world in societies. To protect yourself from Coronavirus COVID-19, you must rely on a few key points.
- Wash your hands at least for 20 seconds.
- Try to keep at least 1-meter distance from anyone coughing or sneezing person.
- Do not touch your nose, mouth or eyes without washing your hands for 20 seconds. Naturally, this is a challenging job, but it’s the way the virus transfers into the body first.
- If somehow, a face mask is not available in the market, sneeze, and cough into your elbow.
- If you have been to a place where Coronavirus COVID-19 is spreading, or you are noticing symptoms in your body, isolate yourself at home for 14 days. However, you should seek medical attention if the symptoms worsen and you experience shortness of breath, high fever, and lethargy