First Coronavirus vaccine clinical trial begins, current treatment plan and other promising candidate vaccines
The World Health Organisation (WHO) currently has a list of 35 candidate vaccines being prepared at different places throughout the world.
The Associated Press (AP) news reported yesterday that the first clinical trials for the first COVID-19 vaccine are going to begin today, March 16, 2020, according to an unnamed government official.
The testing is being done at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Seattle, USA. The National Institute of Health (NIH), USA, is funding it and have not yet made an official announcement of any clinical trial.
The trial will include 45 healthy people who will get the shot. The vaccine does not contain the inactive (or a weaker version) virus so none of the volunteers will be at risk of developing the disease. This trial is mainly being done to determine if there are any side effects associated with the new vaccine. However, NIH and Kaiser are not the only ones in the race to make a vaccine for the novel coronavirus .
The World Health Organisation (WHO) currently has a list of 35 candidate vaccines being prepared at different places throughout the world. Most of these vaccines either contain a protein from the novel coronavirus or the DNA or RNA of the SARS-COV-2 virus. Almost all of the vaccines (apart from Kaiser right now) are in their preclinical phase though some of them would soon be starting clinical trials.
A pharmaceutical company called Invio Pharmaceuticals is set to conduct human trials in April. They are finalising around 3,000 doses of a DNA-based vaccine for human trials to be conducted in the USA (University of Pennsylvania), China and Korea. If the trials succeed, Invio is claiming to launch a vaccine in the market by the end of 2020.
A biotech company in Quebec, Canada is also claiming to have prepared a prototype of a vaccine for COVID-19 and may begin clinical trials in July/August. If the timeline works perfectly, the vaccine may be available to the general public by November this year.
The Serum Institute of India is planning to conduct human trials within the next six months as well. The vaccine is being prepared in collaboration with a US-based biotechnology firm Codagenix.
The current line of treatment for COVID-19
Treatment of COVID-19 depends on the individual case. Mild symptoms usually do not require treatment, however, as the virus starts to affect the lower respiratory tract (in the second week of infection) patients need to be closely observed for symptom progression.
Pregnant women and those who have comorbidities such as diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, or diseases affecting any of the major organs of the body are most at risk of getting a severe infection and thus need more extensive care.
Antiviral drugs are given to control the viral load in the bloodstream of the patient. Also, medication is given to control pneumonia. Oxygen therapy is required in severe cases of hypoxia or shock.
For more tips, read our article on Coronavirus
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