My Word

Elusive search for COVID-19 vaccine leaves world groping in darkness

Ajay Bhardwaj | April 25, 2020 05:26 PM

Hitting a coronavirus-infected person’s body with a “very powerful light” could be an effective treatment for COVID-19, US President Donald Trump  suggested the other day.

Trump made the comment after Bill Bryan, the leader of the Department of Homeland Security's science and technology division, gave a presentation that showed that coronavirus did not live long in humidity or warmer temperatures.

Within no time the claim was debunked by medical experts in other parts of the world even as Trump became a butt of laughter.

With over 2.7 million cases the world over and more than 190,000 deaths in the last almost three months ever since novel croronaviras made its dreadful appearance, the search for its vaccine has made practically no headway even as the global spectre of Covid deaths is assuming horrifying proportions.

More than 80 teams around the world are currently working to develop a vaccine for it with little success at hands right now.

While the failure of the US-based Gilead antiviral drug hit the headlines, there were reports that more than 150 different drugs are being researched around the world.

Oxford scientists have said that the COVID-19 jab they are developing has an 80 per cent chance of success.

Human trials on a possible coronavirus vaccine being developed by an Oxford University team headed by its professor of vaccinology, Sarah Gilbert, are supposed to begin on Thursday, Britain’s secretary of state for health, Matt Hancock, has announced.

While the World Health Organization has estimated a timeline of 12 to 18 months for developing a safe vaccine, the Oxford researchers have said they could produce a million doses of the experimental vaccine by September this year.

In Germany, the Federal Institute for Vaccines said that a clinical test for a potential vaccine had been approved, and will be developed together by the US-based Pfizer and the German company BioNtech.

The German project in its first stage will have 200 participants between the ages of 18 and 55. In the second stage, those more at risk from the disease will be tested.

The vaccine, called BNT162, will also undergo trials in the US after regulatory approvals for human testing are obtained in that country.

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