According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no COVID-1 virus cure. The virus spreads from one person to another one through respiratory droplets. Currently, the best way to avoid any infection is to avoid exposure to those who are already infected.
As we speak, it is only a vaccine which will prevent people from getting sick. According to World Health Organization (WHO), right now a total of 35 academic institutions and companies are working towards creating a vaccine. Four of which are already testing their vaccines on animals.
Moderna, a biotech company based in Boston is planning to start human trials soon. The company wrote on their website in part “while a commercially available vaccine is not likely to be available for at least 12-18 months, it is possible that under emergency use, a vaccine could be available to some people, possibly including health professionals, in the fall of 2020…in addition the company is scaling up manufacturing capacity toward the production of millions of doses per month…”
Morderna is currently working around the clock towards producing an effective COVID-19 virus cure.
If the respiratory droplets land on your nose or mouth and you inhale them into your lungs, then you get infected.
The speed at which the vaccine trials are being conducted is thanks to the fact that Chinese scientist provided a sequence of the genetic material which causes Covid-19. This is what has made it possible for medical research companies around the world to grow the in their labs for further research with the aim of producing Covid-19 virus cure.
Currently, a non-profit organization known as Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is at the forefront in financing as well as coordinating the development of Covid-19 virus cure.Scientists have reported that Covid-19 and Sars-Cov-2 have 80% – 90% similarities in genetic material.
Past vaccines have been developed by medical research companies by weakening live forms of the virus. It is first inactivated by chemicals or heat. It is important to note that some of the research projects are still using these tried-and-tested techniques. However, others are adopting more modern techniques.
Apart from Moderna, other companies such as CureVac are trying to develop Covid-19 virus cure (vaccine) through using messenger RNA.
Last week, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations announced a USD$4.4 million for those companies adopting these new technologies in search of Covid-19 virus cure or vaccine.
All companies engaged in finding a Covid-19 virus cure have to conduct clinical trials as a requirement for regulatory approval. This stage happens in three phases. First, a few healthy volunteers are engaged, the vaccine is tested on them to determine their safety. The volunteers are monitored for any negative effects.
Stage two, of the clinical trials involves hundreds of people in most cases from the part of the globe affected by the disease in question. Final stage 3 involves thousands of people.
These clinical trials cannot be hurried or skipped because doing so can be deadly. It is worth noting that so far, no vaccines made from genetic material such as DNA or RNA has ever been approved.
Typically, for a vaccine to pass all the stages to regulatory approval takes up to 10 years or more. This is why there was a lot of confusion when President Donald Trump pushed for the production of a Covoid-19 virus cure by November 2020 before the US elections. Many vaccinologists have stated that this is an impossible deadline. According to Professor Annelies Wilder-Smith, of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the most realistic deadline according to scientists is a minimum of 18 months. Even that is considered to be too fast and assumes that there will be no barriers on the way.
Another challenge is that once any of the candidates of the vaccines is approved, the Covid-19 virus cure will be needed in large quantities for all countries around the world. Therefore, factories to produce the vaccines will have to be constructed. However, this will not be feasible until pharmaceutical companies are sure that the specific vaccines will work.
After discovering the vaccine, the other challenge will be ensuring that everyone gets it. At this point politics and economics will be a challenge. United Kingdom has already drawn guidelines indicating that they will prioritize those who are at the highest risk such as health workers, children as well as pregnant women.
Another challenge is that various states/nations will compete to have access to the COVID-19 virus cure for their people. This may depend on the purchasing powers of those nations. A case in point is that those states with high purchasing powers bought most of the supplies of 2009 H1N1 pandemic vaccines. The poor countries continued suffering.
Now imagine of a country like India with 1.3 billion people which is one of the leading producers of vaccines prioritizing the protection of their own people before they produce for the rest of the world as exports.
The World Health Organization is reported to be working with world governments in devising a distribution strategy which is equitable. Organizations such as the vaccine alliance – GAVI – are looking at funding frameworks to ensure poor countries also get access to the vaccines.
There is a likelihood that the Covid-19 virus cure may not be found soon and as a result the outbreak will peak and decline on its own. This points out that our best option now is to contain the disease and prevent it from spreading further through laying down strategies such as lock-downs as witnessed in China and Italy or Covid-19 curfew and introduced in Kenya.
Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) has already fielded call for expression of interest for companies to develop COVID-19 and at the same time is planning to contribute towards expanding the global manufacturing capacity. CEPI was founded during the 2017 Davos Meeting by government of India and Norway, Wellcome Trust, World Economic Forum and Bill & Melinda Gates for the purpose of developing vaccines for emerging epidemics.
CEPI has available USD$760 which was provided by governments of Ethiopia, Norway, UK, Japan, Canada, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Finland and Belgium. Bill & Melinda Gates and Wellcome Trust have also contributed towards the kitty.
Since there is no covid-19 virus cure, you need to observe the following:
- Wash hands regularly using shop for at least 20 seconds;
- Avoid close contact with the sick and practice social distance;
- If you are sick stay at home except when you go out to get medical care;
- If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with your elbow or use tissue and dispose it in the dustbin immediately and then;
- Wash your hands with water and soap for 20 seconds as indicated above;
- Face Mask: Wear a face mask if you are infected by COVID-19 virus;
- Clean and disinfect the regularly touched places such as door knobs, handles, sinks, keyboards, keyboards, toilets, tables or light switches among others;
- Use soap and detergent to clean dirty surfaces before disinfecting them;
- If you are using alcohol solutions, make sure that they have at least 70% alcohol;