Tuesday, May 19, 2020

How long are we going to wait for a coronavirus vaccine? Understand

With the positive results of a coronavirus vaccine being released by the US biotech company Modern and the advances of a group of scientists from Oxford, England, the prospect of an immunisation against the new virus seems ever closer – and only with it can life be as it was before. Although the latest news is promising, it will still take a while for a safe and effective vaccine to be developed, produced and distributed on a large scale. The American proposal, for example, showed good results in eight volunteers: they developed antibodies similar to those of people who were infected and are cured of the disease. Now, it is necessary to know whether, in contact with Sars-CoV-2, the body will have the same efficiency, becoming immune to the virus. This contagion, however, needs to happen at random, studies in which contamination is purposeful are not authorized in research protocols. Now, moderna's vaccine will be given to another 600 people and, in a next step, scheduled for July, will be tested on thousands of volunteers. The immunization developed by the Oxford team is more advanced. About 1,100 people are participating in the tests and the first results are expected to be presented in August. Volunteers are expected to be infected with the coronavirus naturally and to be able to react to it with antibodies developed after they have been immunized. If, in fact, it works, the vaccine would be ready by September. Once the testing phase has been completed, it is necessary that the vaccine be approved in the competent body of its country of origin and the laboratory responsible is able to produce it on a large scale. Because the entire world population needs to be protected, and it is complicated to have a system capable of producing billions of immunizations, risk groups are likely to take priority in distribution (as is done with the flu vaccine, for example). For immunization to reach Brazil, the Ministry of Health must move to ensure access to Brazilians. Former Health Minister Nelson Teich said at a press conference during his tenure that the government was already in contact with international laboratories to put the country in line. But since Brazil has not entered the vaccine fund created by the European Union to foster research development, we are not guaranteed to take priority. On Twitter, microbiologist Attila Iamarino, who has become one of the main voices of science about coronavirus in Brazil, says the decision to stay out of the group can cost the country dearly. Director of the Brazilian Society of Immunizations (SBIm) and master in Immunobiological Technology by Fiocruz, nurse Mayra Moura believes that the Brazilian population will have access to the method only next year. "I don't think the lab can immediately approve the vaccine and produce billions of doses to vaccinate the entire population of the world. We will fall into a situation of priorities, not only of the risk groups, but of the countries that will have access. We need to follow up to see how this scenario will develop," he explains. If more than one vaccine is approved, laboratories must divide production and serve more countries. The United Nations (WHO) also has an immunization purchase program for underdeveloped countries, but Brazil should not join this group. There is also a discussion on the issue of the patent of a future vaccine. The United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS has started a petition that has signed more than 140 world leaders and experts to call for unity in the search for patent-free protection that can be distributed fairly without economic criteria. "There is a good prospect of vaccine development, but it is very optimistic to think that we will have any licensed immunization by the end of the year," says the expert. About 100 vaccines and 200 covid-19 drugs are being tested worldwide. In addition to the proposal of Moderna and the one being elaborated by the Oxford group, an immunization made by Pfizer is considered very promising.
Metrópoles - 19/05/2020 News Item translated automatically
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