As the coronavirus spreads, people become more careful and creative with their social interactions.
A global race to develop a safe coronavirus vaccine is underway. The stakes could not be higher: an effective vaccine or treatment against the virus that causes COVID-19 is necessary to fully revive economies and resume civic life.
As the pace accelerates, USA TODAY brings together some of the most notable vaccine developments of the week.
Here is what we know about the most promising vaccine candidate from the University of Oxford, which many consider to be leading the race, international funding for a vaccine opportunity in Maryland and how people opposed to vaccines could continue. circulate COVID-19.
Oxford vaccine protects monkeys
A single dose of a vaccine under development by the University of Oxford in England resulted in six rhesus macaque monkeys developing antibodies to the coronavirus in 28 days.
The vaccine, called ChAdOx1, also appears to have prevented pneumonia and inflammatory lung disease when animals were exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The Oxford vaccine is based on a research platform from the university’s Jenner Institute suitable for SARS-CoV-2.
The macaques were tested at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in the United States, at the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Hamilton, Montana.
The infected monkeys were compared to three control monkeys who did not receive the vaccine. Two out of three control monkeys developed pneumonia after being exposed to the virus.
The results were in a preprinted paper published Thursday on the bioRxiv preprint server. Preprints are studies that have not gone through the normal peer review process required for publication in medical or scientific journals. However, during the coronavirus emergency, many researchers publish their results as soon as they are available.
Health and Social Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke about a schedule for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Britain: vaccine could never come
Despite news from Oxford, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recognizes that a vaccine against COVID-19 may never come.
The statement came as the UK government released a detailed 50-page three-step COVID-19 recovery plan launched on Wednesday with partial relaxation of the country’s lockout restrictions.
Johnson said the only possible long-term solution was in a vaccine or treatment, but when the nation hoped for a breakthrough, “Hope is not a plan.”
“A vaccine or mass treatment can take more than a year. Indeed, in the worst case, we may never find a vaccine. Our plan must therefore face a situation in which we are together, in the long term, even doing everything we can to avoid this result, “he said.
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International group funds Maryland vaccine
Maryland-based vaccination company Novavax to receive up to $ 388 million from the International Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) to continue development and manufacture of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate NVX-CoV2373 .
The company said the possible vaccine has been proven in animal models. He hopes to start phase 1 human clinical trials in May in Australia.
CEPI, based in Norway, is a partnership between public, private, philanthropic and civil society organizations. It was launched in 2017 to develop vaccines to end future epidemics and to ensure access to these vaccines in low and middle income countries. It has so far entered into nine partnerships to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.
WHO vaccine candidate monitoring
The World Health Organization’s list of candidate vaccines for COVID-19 has remained stable at eight possible products in the first human trials. These are three from China, two from the United States, one from the United Kingdom and one from Europe.
The list also includes possible vaccines that are under preclinical evaluation, which means that they are always tested in the laboratory, either on cell cultures or on animals. This week, the number increased by eight, from 102 possible candidates on May 11 to 110 on May 15.
When the list was first published on April 20, it contained five candidates in the first human trials and 71 still in the laboratory.
Anti-vaxers could upset collective immunity
Most Americans are impatient to get a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
But among the minority who distrust vaccine safety, many say they would not. A Yahoo News / YouGov poll found that 19% of Americans said they would not be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. Another 26% said they were unsure.
A poll by Morning Consult found that 64% of Americans said they would get the vaccine while 14% said they would not. The rest were undecided.
This could block efforts to reduce the spread of the disease in the country. Experts estimate that up to 70% of the population should be immunized or recover from a case to stop the spread of the disease.
The United States is far from what is known as collective immunity, where enough people in the population are immunized so that the virus can no longer spread freely. According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, 200 million Americans should be protected for this to happen.
To submit a development for weekly collection, or share other vaccine news, please email Elizabeth Weise at [email protected]
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