Amid the surging COVID-19 cases, US President Donald Trump has said that his administration will announce good news regarding therapeutics developed for the novel coronavirus infection within the next two weeks.
"With respect to therapeutics, I can tell you that I think over the next couple of weeks, we will have some really, very good things to say," Trump told reporters on July 27. Trump’s administration will have "some announcements" on that over the next two weeks, reported ANI.
Trump’s comment came on the day the world's biggest COVID-19 vaccine study got underway with the first of 30,000 planned volunteers helping to test shots created by the US government -- one of several candidates in the final stretch of the global vaccine race.
The trial of the vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc, is one of the first late-stage studies supported by the Trump administration's effort to speed development of measures against the novel coronavirus, adding to hope that an effective vaccine will help end the pandemic.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Moderna, which has never brought a vaccine to market, has received nearly $1 billion from the US government, which is helping bankroll several vaccine candidates under its Operation Warp Speed program.
More than 6.53 lakh people have died of COVID-19 globally and over 1.64 crore tested positive for the disease. In the US alone, more than 1.48 lakh Americans have died and nearly 43 lakh people tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University data.Click here for Moneycontrol's full coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic