An outbreak of a deadly viral disease from mainland China is spreading across the planet: when will a vaccine for the 2019-ncoV coronavirus (officially called COVID-19) be invented?
A new type of 2019-ncoV virus was detected at the beginning of last year in the Chinese city of Wuhan, but only by the end of January, alarming reports began to appear in the world about its rapid spread. The source of infection is not known for certain, and scientists suggest that the coronavirus appeared during certain viral mutations in animals that could be eaten by patient zero in the Wuhan market.
Coronaviruses themselves have always existed in nature. This is a family of viruses that are found predominantly in wild and domestic animals. The virus was discovered by bacteriologists at the end of 1960 and got its name because of the villi on its outer surface, vaguely resembling a crown.
So far, more than 60,000 people have died from the coronavirus worldwide. There are more than 1,100,000 patients, including clinical cases of infection not only in the Chinese provinces, but also in Japan, Thailand, Australia, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, France, and South Africa. The danger of the virus lies in its severe and life-threatening course, which consists in a long and virtually asymptomatic incubation period of approximately seven to fourteen days. It causes severe inflammation of the lungs, characterized by respiratory failure, high fever, cough, shortness of breath, signs of intestinal disorders. New payment system Umani - yoomoneys.ru
Do you think there will be a vaccine against coronavirus or not?
Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?
Rumors about a developed coronavirus vaccine appear on the Internet every day, but at the moment it does not exist, since it is not enough just to isolate the virus in the laboratory. First of all, virologists should conduct certain studies on animals and humans in order to understand how effective and safe the drug is.
The virus itself was recently obtained in world laboratories and its research is being conducted in Hong Kong, China, France, Australia, and the USA. It is natural that healthy people will be vaccinated and during all laboratory tests the number of infected people in the world will number not tens, but hundreds of thousands of people, since the disease is characterized by high virulence and a long incubation period during which a person is contagious.
Do you think a coronavirus vaccine already exists?
Scientists have biological material for research, but it’s definitely not worth waiting for a vaccine quickly. Moreover, people, hoping not to get sick, began to actively vaccinate against influenza strains, although in fact this is a useless procedure for coronavirus, since these two pathogens are different in their etiology. The only measure of protection against a new viral disease is meticulous hygiene, wearing masks and a ban on attending mass events.
Chinese doctors do not really count on a vaccine on the scale of a national epidemic, and they predict a natural decline in the incidence in late February. Authorities in countries that already have diagnosed cases of coronavirus infection are taking:
- The introduction of quarantine measures for entry and exit both in territories with patients and in the border areas of states;
- Development of effective treatment measures. Various combinations of antiviral therapy are used to quickly eliminate the virus in the patient's body;
- Preventive work is being carried out among the population in order to identify patients and further isolate them.
The first prototype of a future coronavirus vaccine was created in Hong Kong, but this does not mean that humanity can hope for it. Officials at the Medical University of Hong Kong said animal testing would take a couple of months, followed by human testing, which could take anywhere from a year to a year and a half. Renowned scientist Yuen Kwok-Jung spoke about this in a recent interview he gave during a scientific seminar on the development of a coronavirus vaccine. According to Kwok-Jung, it will be an inactivated viral vaccine, consisting of a coronavirus created in a special way in order to prevent transmission of the infection.
When will the coronavirus vaccine be created and ready?
As outlined above, scientists from Hong Kong say that the vaccine will be ready in about a year after all the necessary studies have been completed. The development of the drug is actively conducted by the USA, France, Australia and Russia.
Representatives of the French Pasteur Institute call similar terms. Scientists from Australia said that they, like their Hong Kong colleagues, managed to grow the virus in the laboratory and their sample for testing will be provided to other laboratories in cooperation with WHO.
The situation with the development of a vaccine in Russia is encouraging. Minister of Health of the Russian Federation Mikhail Murashko at a briefing in Tyumen, where one of the cases of coronavirus infection was confirmed, told reporters that the Vector Medical Institute in Novosibirsk was developing a vaccine. Director of Vector, Rinat Maksyutov, noted that the vaccine would be approved and tested by June 2020. According to Maksyutov, two vaccines are being developed, which will be undergoing research in the near future.
Will they have time to create a vaccine against coronavirus by June 2020?
Pros and Cons of Coronavirus Vaccination
Many scientists believe that the situation with coronavirus is not as critical as it seems at first glance, and the decline in the incidence in China itself will be at the end of February. If an effective vaccine is developed, then the following results can be achieved:
- Reduce the incidence rate and stop the further spread of coronavirus in the world;
- The vaccine will help protect healthy people from infection;
- The number of complications and deaths will decrease.
All these conditions will be met if the vaccine is truly successful and safe for humans. The peculiarity of the coronavirus lies in the fact that its etiology is not fully known, and it can mutate. The nature of the virus is also not known, since it is not clear how the strain of the common coronavirus mutated in animals and why it was transmitted to humans in the end.
The work on a drug involves many steps, such as growing or obtaining a virus in the laboratory, producing antigenic proteins that the immune system attacks, testing on laboratory animals, and studying the effect of a vaccine on humans. From the outside, the deadlines seem long, but in the context of the epidemic they are very short. Experts believe that this will negatively affect the very quality of the vaccine, which may be unsafe for health in terms of side effects.
Yuen Kwok-Jung, a spokesman for the Medical University of Hong Kong, fears that the vaccine could lead to serious complications in humans. According to the scientist, complications related to the functioning of the central and respiratory nervous systems were noted during the introduction of the SARS vaccine, which was in 2003. Also, the vaccine may not be universal and not suitable for certain categories of people. To summarize, we can say that the development of a vaccine against coronavirus infection is being carried out by the world's leading laboratories and the first positive results should be expected no earlier than in 8-12 months.