With the global COVID-19 case count reaching 20 million, Russia has approved a vaccine for the disease. There is, however, suspicion around the approval since the trials have yet to conclude the Phase 3 testing. To solidify the vaccine approval, Russian President Vladimir Putin, stated the vaccine is working “effectively enough”- far too vague for most medical professionals throughout the world. What does “effectively enough” constitute? With the vaccination trials being rushed already through the world, how many corners are being cut by the nations at the head of the vaccination development? Like many questions that hint toward political gains and propaganda, we may never truly know the answer to how many corners are being cut on a vaccination approval that could indeed affect the entire globe for better or worse.
To combat COVID-19, Moderna launched a Phase 1 study consisting of 45 participants in an effort to create a vaccine on an expedited timeline. March 16th was the start of the Phase 1 testing. The initial group of 45 people were divided into groups of 15 individuals. Each grouping received 2 doses of treatment, but each group received a different dosage of the proposed vaccine (25, 100, or 250 microgram dosages). The subjects who received both doses, showed higher levels of virus-defeating antibodies when compared to individuals who had recovered from the coronavirus. The majority of participants who received both dosages did report adverse reactions, as to be expected during the trials.
As we move into week six of social distancing and stay-at-home orders throughout the country, many states are preparing to lift restrictions beginning this week. CNN recently conducted an interview with Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft. His foundation has studied pandemics for years and is now involved with the fight against COVID-19. Gates told CNN during his interview that the country can begin to lift restrictions safely if they have the capacity to aggressively test for and trace new cases of the virus.
Yesterday afternoon the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine made a new discovery in the fight against the COVID-19 virus with a possible vaccination they hope can be rolled out sometime this year.
Last week, President Trump, announced the COVID-19 treatments and vaccines are on a “fast track” for development. But what does that mean? What is a typical timeline for development and what are the steps that needs followed in order to produce a successful vaccination or treatment?