US President Donald Trump again used the term “China Virus” for the novel coronavirus that has created a pandemic across the world.
On the eve of the Republican National Convention, Trump announced emergency authorisation to treat COVID-19 patients with convalescent plasma -- a move he called “a breakthrough”.
In his speech, Trump said, “I am pleased to make a truly historic announcement in our battle against the China virus that will save countless lives,” and added the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorisation of convalescent plasma.
The announcement came after White House officials complained there were politically motivated delays by the FDA in approving a vaccine and therapeutics for the disease that has upended Trump's reelection chances.
The authorisation of convalescent plasma therapy makes it easier for some patients to obtain the treatment but is not the same as full FDA approval.
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.
The blood plasma, taken from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and rich in antibodies, may provide benefits to those battling the COVID-19 disease. But the evidence so far has not been conclusive about whether it works, when to administer it and what dose is needed.
This was not the first time when Trump called the novel coronavirus as China’s virus.
In March, he had said that China is responsible for the spread of the novel coronavirus and called the COVID-19 as the "Chinese Virus".
He, later, insisted the term was accurate because the virus originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The virus that first emerged in China's Wuhan city in the Hubei province in December 2019 has spread to at least 188 countries, infecting 2.33 crore people and has claimed 8.07 lakh lives, according to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker.Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.