As we wait for a cure and vaccine for COVID-19 to be developed, lockdown measures and economic restrictions will continue to apply. This “new normal,” which includes travel bans, temperature checks, physical distancing, and online learning, will stay to safeguard our health. With millions of people affected and thousands of deaths recorded, finding the cure and vaccine for COVID-19 has now become a race against time.
How long is the projected time to find the cure and vaccine for COVID-19?
The cure and vaccine for COVID-19 have been reported to be ready as early as September of this year However, experts cannot give a definite timeline. This is because it takes time, trials, and continuous financial support to develop them. So far, we have the following developments:
What are the worldwide developments in finding the cure and vaccine for COVID-19?
To end the pandemic, the population must be given immunity against the COVID-19. However, that is only possible if an effective vaccine can be developed.
A vaccine contains an agent from the disease-causing organism (pathogen). It is often prepared from the weakened or dead bacteria or virus. When a person receives the vaccine, their body will recognize the pathogen and produce antibodies against it. This allows the person to build immunity.
While a lot of people think that a vaccine will be ready by the end of 2020, others think that it may take longer. This is because vaccines need to undergo several phases of trials before they can be deemed safe for use.
According to the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunisation (GAVI), should a candidate vaccine make it past the pre-clinical trial, it still has to undergo the 3-phase human trial. Phase 1 tests for safety and dosage of the candidate vaccine. For Phase 2, more tests are done to check the effectiveness and safety of the candidate vaccine. Lastly, Phase 3 assesses the effectiveness of the vaccine and determines its possible side effects.
As of now, CanSino Biologics Inc.’s Ad5-nCoV is the only candidate vaccine in Phase 2 of clinical trials. According to reports, Ad5-nCoV is generally safe. People who have received this candidate vaccine effectively developed immunity in the early tests.
Aside from Ad5-nCoV, there are other strong contenders. One of them is Wuhan Institute of Biological Products’ Inactivated Vaccine, which will soon be going to Phase 2 Trial. In Phase 1 of the clinical trial, 96 people from different age groups participated. The trial commenced on April 23 of this year.
Moderna’s mRNA 1273 candidate vaccine also showed great results in its Phase 1 Trial. Currently, it is now transitioning to Phase 2 with at least 600 participants. According to reports, Moderna may soon be undergoing the Phase 3 Clinical Trial in July.
Finally, there is AZD1222 from AstraZeneca. For its Phase 1 Trial testing, the company invited at least 1,000 participants. It plans to enroll more than 10,000 healthy people in the next set of tests. Furthermore, AstraZeneca, in coordination with the University of Oxford, plans to make its first shipment of vaccines to customers in September 2020.
As for the medications to treat COVID-19, we have several in the works, the first being Remdesivir. The US Food and Drug Administration cleared the drug for emergency administration. This allowed hospitals in the United States to give Remdesivir to patients. Research showed that patients who received Remdesivir recovered faster than those who received placebo drugs.
In the Philippines, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are used. However, doctors use these with great caution as certain studies have shown that these can cause heart ailments or even death.
Favipiravir by FujiFilm Holdings Corp. in Japan is another promising drug. Currently sold as Avigan, the medication helps clear the virus one week earlier than the anti-HIV drug created by AbbVie Inc, as shown in initial studies. Additionally, reports say that Avigan helps improve the chest symptoms experienced due to COVID-19.
Finally, there is also convalescent plasma. Plasma is the liquid component of the blood where antibodies can be found. Medical experts believe that by taking plasma from recovered patients (whose blood contains antibodies against COVID-19) and transfusing it into the blood of those afflicted can help patients recover faster.
What are the developments in finding the cure and vaccine for COVID-19 in the Philippines?
The Philippines has taken the steps to break the chain of infection, as well as to find the cure and vaccine for COVID-19.
The Department of Health continually asks for recovered patients to donate their plasma to help other patients fight the infection. The government has also allocated at least P18 million for the clinical trials of Avigan, one of the potential treatments for the coronavirus disease. Lastly, the Philippines joined the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Trial to find and test possible treatments for the coronavirus disease. More than 100 countries have joined the trial with over 1,000 participants.
The cure and vaccine for COVID-19 may or may not be available within the year. For this reason, it is very important to strictly follow the guidelines set by the WHO. The public is encouraged to continue practicing regular handwashing and physical distancing. In addition, strengthen your immune system.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.