A group of scientists at Greffex, a Houston, Texas-based genetic engineering company, claim they’ve created a coronavirus vaccine.
The company told the Houston Business Journal that it had completed development of the vaccine and it is ready for animal testing and review by US regulators.
It comes after UK scientists announced they’d begun testing their shot, and researchers at the University of Texas at Austin announced they’d made compound they believe can serve as a vaccine. It also comes after scientists in Australia and in another US Biotech Company have announced that they too are at an advanced stage.
Developing a vaccine, however, is just the first step toward distributing one. Most estimates suggest that from, testing and production could take between 18 months and two years, though Greffex has not announced its timeline.
So, what we are doing through this little read, is TRYING to answer the questions which anyone might have at this moment in time.
If one is found, how quickly could it be made available?
Realistically, if found, a vaccine will not be available on the market until mid-2021.
Once created, vaccines are tested in animals. If this testing is successful, there could be human trials later – which is what a US Biotech Company announced earlier this week. But even if scientists can celebrate having developed a vaccine before Christmas, there will be a massive headache of being able to produce it for the masses.
All of this is happening on an unprecedented timescale and using new approaches to vaccines so there are no guarantees everything will go smoothly.
Remember there are four coronaviruses that already circulate in human beings. They cause the common cold and we don’t have vaccines for any of them.
Would it protect people of all ages?
If found, a vaccine will probably be less successful in older people. This is due to the immune system in older people, and we see this every year with the normal influenza vaccine.
Could there be any side-effects?
Well, any sort of medication under the sun has side-effects, even normal paracetamol. However, in such early stages of development, no one would be in a position to know of any side-effects, at least not before clinical trials take place.
So what do we all do until a vaccine is available?
Vaccines are there to help in the prevention of infections, so the best thing to do at this point in time is good hygiene. Washing your hands regularly; using hand sanitizer; covering your mouth when coughing; and, throwing away used tissues are all effective and easy way to take good care of yourself – not just with the virus looming, but, on a daily basis.
You can read more about the Coronavirus by clicking here.