Companies are Already Working on Vaccines for COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is scary, and it is beginning to cause a panic throughout the world. Through this panic and fear, it is important to remember that progress is always being made, and scientists are working constantly to find a vaccine or viable treatment. Five companies have already made progress in this effort, which is something positive that should be recognized. It is easy to forget about the bright side in situations like these, but recognizing them brings hope during a dark time.

About COVID-19

COVID-19 is part of a larger group of coronaviruses that can affect both people and animals. It is a viral infection that causes symptoms comparable to the flu. Beginning in Wuhan, China, it has managed to spread throughout the globe. The WHO has confirmed cases in over 140 countries, amounting to over 160,000 infected.

The symptoms of this virus include a fever, chills, a dry cough, shortness of breath, and breathing issues. All cases can range from mild to severe, with the onset of symptoms usually seen between two to 14 days since infection. These effects are more severe for those with underlying health conditions or those with weakened immune systems, such as older adults.

If you do notice these symptoms, you should work to prevent your exposure to others in order to stop the spread. Staying at home is integral, as is staying in contact with your doctor. Isolate yourself from everyone, even those within your own home. It is also important to call your doctor before you go in, cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, and wear a face mask.

Even those who are not sick with this virus should be taking cautionary steps, such as frequently washing hands, not touching the face, and cleaning heavily used objects and surfaces daily. Avoid seeing anyone who is sick and entering heavily traveled areas.

It is important to remember to stay calm and make good choices during this time. Many are panicking, but staying calm and rational leads to better and healthier decisions.

Companies are Working Towards Vaccines

Here are five companies who are in various stages of developing vaccines for COVID-19. Their researchers are working around the clock to provide relief for this pandemic.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been working on a vaccine with multiple other organizations, such as the University of Queensland, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and Clover Biopharmaceuticals. GSK is taking advantage of their pandemic vaccine adjuvant platform, which has helped to create vaccines for the flu and HPV in the past.

Johnson & Johnson are using their vast resources to develop both vaccines and treatment for COVID-19. Working with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), they have used their vaccine platform to develop a vaccine and antiviral treatments for this virus. They plan their clinical trial for this vaccine for the end of 2020, and if it is successful they will work to distribute it across the world.

INO-4800 is currently being developed by Inovio Pharmaceuticals, and it is a DNA-based vaccine. The trial should begin in April, with results expected by fall. If all goes well, the vaccine will be ready by the end of the year. Inovio expects to create at least one million doses.

An RNA-based vaccine is being worked on by Moderna, a biotech company. It is called mRNA-1273 and will be evaluated in clinical trials starting next week. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is a part of the National Institutes of Health, has received a batch and will assist with the trial. Results should be available in June of next year.

Lastly, an antiviral drug created by Gilead should be producing trial results in April. Called Remdesivir, this treatment has already been studied in a clinical trial in Wuhan, China. The results of this trial can be expected in April, and they have been given permission to begin trials in other countries throughout the world. As of now, more than 1,000 people are participating in these studies.

While this pandemic has caused panic and chaos, it is important to remember that there are people working around the clock in order to create a treatment or vaccine. This work should inspire us to stay diligent and do our part by preventing the spread in any way we can.

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