Coronavirus Vaccination: Developments You Should Be Aware Of
Coronavirus was first identified in 1937 and was responsible for causing a type of bronchitis in birds. It had the potential of destroying huge poultry stocks. Then later, in 1960s, evidence of human coronavirus was discovered from the noses of individuals suffering from common cold.
Recently in 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) monitored a new coronavirus outbreak. Coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, is responsible for causing COVID19 and was first identified in December in Wuhan, China. Soon after, it has spread rapidly to almost every country and led the WHO to announce a pandemic.
So far, millions have contracted the virus around the globe, and hundreds of thousands have died. In fact, the US has reported highest number of deaths as a result of coronavirus outbreak. People around the globe are trying to prevent the contraction of virus by washing their hands frequently, purchase face masks, staying home, etc.
Above all, researchers are working day and night to formulate a coronavirus vaccine. After all, looking at the presence scenario it is easy to understand that a vaccine is the only hope that we have. If you don’t know much the development concerning coronavirus vaccines, here is everything you need to know…
Basically, every vaccine works by increasing our immunity to fight back against a particular disease. However, researchers need to make sure that the vaccine doesn’t have any major side effects. Also, it should work for people belonging to all age groups, healthcare workers, and for those with underlying health conditions.
Researchers are currently working on coronavirus vaccines with multiple approaches. This includes:
- Whole virus vaccine: In this type of vaccine, weakened or dead virus forms are used. They are expected to be effective at enhancing immunity against the virus. However, there is a risk that people might get infected with the virus because of vaccination.
- Recombinant vaccine: This vaccination doesn’t contain any type of live pathogens, and therefore cannot infect those who receive it. Researchers are striving hard to figure out if they are come up with a recombinant protein subunit vaccine that can specifically target spike (S-) protein. This is because coronavirus uses spike (S-) protein to attach to and gradually start infecting cells.
- Antibody vaccine: Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine with antibodies from SARS outbreak which initiated in 2002. The thing is, SARS is very similar to COVID19, as both are the results of coronaviruses. So far, it is observed in lab studies that the antibodies that affect SARS can also affect and neutralize coronavirus infected cells.
- Nucleic acid vaccine: Through this vaccine, genetic materials like DNA and RNA are injected into a live host. Cells that this new nucleic acid develop proteins that were encoded in those DNA and RNA. Ultimately, this vaccine empowers the immune system to fight back against specific pathogens. This approach has indeed shown some promising results, but since it is only available in veterinary medication, more research is needed.
For now, Covid19 is identified as a serious health challenge and doctors and researchers are working side by side to find preventative measures, like vaccines. However, until we don’t have a vaccine ready, it is recommended to protect ourselves in every possible way as we can.