learn about COVID-19, its impact, and what you can do about it.
As COVID-19 cases begin to peak in many states across the country, the government is looking for an efficient way to develop a vaccine to prevent cases from increasing and to contain the virus as much as possible. Usually, it would take up to 13 years for scientists to develop a vaccine, commence 3 phases of clinical trials, construct factories and facilities, get approval, and finally distribute the vaccine to the public. Since the number of cases are rising extremely every day, scientists are hoping that the vaccine will take 12-18 months before the public will have access to it.
Researchers from Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca would be the first licensed candidates to test their type of vaccines on chimpanzees if they get approval. Their vaccine works by causing a cold, but not sickening people. Causing a cold “delivers key elements of the vaccine into the patient’s body.” researchers from Oxford state. The vaccine from Oxford University hopes to “stimulate the immune system which causes antibodies and immune cells to recognize and neutralize the protein in the virus, protecting people from the disease from spreading.” Other companies such as Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna are developing vaccines using genetic material called mRNA to combat the disease.
Vaccine testing has gone into full effect, with the US going into phase 3 of clinical trials, which intends to test a bigger group of people to further test a safe vaccine. On July 27th, 1,290 people were being tested randomly with either the Moderna vaccine or a “dummy shot” serving as a placebo to see how their immune system will react to the vaccine. Moderna hopes to enroll 30,000 more people at 89 sites to be tested as well. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, states, "We hope within a period of a few months, a couple of months, that we'll be able to enroll hopefully by the end of the summer so that we can start getting some results."
Despite the development of the COVID-19 vaccine commencing at a rapid pace, preventing the number of cases from increasing is very important. Make sure to maintain good health and hygiene, so we can access the vaccine as soon as possible. Hospitals and other medical facilities hope to obtain access to this vaccine so we can stop the spread and prevent people from getting sick. By maintaining good hygiene, hospitals will be relieved of taking care of harsh cases and will be able to give people the vaccine they need to flatten the curve.
Written by Lily McDonough
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