In coronavirus reality: why the world another year of life without vaccine

В корона­вирусной реальности: почему миру еще год придется жить без вакцины

The study of the virus Sars-CoV-2 (namely, this is the full name coronavirus) today has become an important scientific challenge to humanity. After all, only fully understanding its nature, mankind will be able to effectively counter the infection, which drove quarantined almost the entire planet. Usually medical and biological research going on for years. But the coronavirus was a rush job thrown force laboratories and institutions around the world. This raises the question: when will received the miracle cure. “Apostrophe” has collected the main achievements of scientists in the field of combating coronavirus.

Coronavirus vaccine is on the horizon?

For obvious reasons, today institutes and laboratories most of the effort is to find a vaccine against COVID-19. Research in this area has been 80 groups of scientists around the world. Not without politics, because the state, which first will be able to develop a vaccine, will receive a huge increase in its influence. A major competition unfolded between China, which with this just need to wash away the negative image of the original source of the pandemic, and traditional “Anglo-Saxon” in tandem with the US and the UK. And while the West is clearly the leader in their achievements, testing their development.

Scientific institution Kaiser Permanente in Seattle is already conducting testing on volunteers who were given the viruses with harmless pieces of genetic material COVID-19. To cause disease a virus or not, but, according to scientists, can contribute to the production of antibodies in the human body that will guarantee immunity from COVID-19. In order to expedite the process, Americans passed the stage of testing the vaccine on animals that may cause problems with the certification of the vaccine. But extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary solutions, and therefore the specific criticism such a move causes.

Also to test this vaccine on humans passed and the researchers of the University of Oxford. Attracted more than 800 volunteers, half of which will introduce co-developed by Oxford scientists and American companies Inovio Pharmaceutical drug and the other half placebo. In this case, subjects do not know what kind of injection they received. This method gives the most comprehensive data in the study of reactions to the vaccine and substantially enhances the probability of successful trials. Sarah Gilbert, Professor of vaccinology Jenner Institute, head of the test program, told the British media: “I am very optimistic and 80% sure that the vaccine works.”

This British-American vaccine now have higher expectations, and it is betting who. In parallel with trials in the UK and the USA on the people in Australia are testing this drug on parrots, which, like humans, can also become infected with the coronavirus.

Not without problems

At first glance, the test coronavirus vaccine on volunteers mean that a lifesaver will come into hospitals and pharmacies, and about the pandemic and quarantine will be forgotten as a nightmare. Unfortunately, it is not. The principle of vaccine – introduction of a weakened form of the disease in the body to develop immunity – is accompanied by very high risks. And without the hundreds of checks, eliminating any possibility of risk to the human body, can not do. Typically, such verification and certification of a vaccine takes years and even decades. Of course, in the case of coronavirus, the formalities can be sacrificed. But by no means mandatory inspections, which can guarantee the safety for people. Therefore, even the most optimistic experts do not promise the emergence of vaccine COVID-19 in the near future. “Most experts believe that vaccine may be available by mid-2021, after about 12-18 months after the new virus. Such a pace would be a real scientific feat, and not the fact that the efforts will result. It’s already four strains of coronavirus circulate among the people. They cause symptoms of the common cold, and we still have no vaccine for either one of them,” – said the scientific and medical BBC correspondent James Gallagher.

In addition, even after the passage of the coronavirus vaccine of a huge number of checks to confirm that it’s 100% efficiency, quickly forget about the coronavirus will not succeed. After all, according to scientists, in order to stop the spread of the virus a pandemic rate, it is necessary that the immunity acquired from 70 to 80% of the world population. So, to vaccinate, we’ll have 5.5 billion people. And not just once. After all, the acquisition of immunity is not so simple. Even those people who have been exposed to coronavirus, can not rely on long-term protection. The thing is that the antibodies needed to counter the virus, do not live in the human body for a long time. Most virologists believe that the immunity against COVID-19 won’t last longer than a year or two. “It is clear that in infected COVID-19 people are immune responses. Antibodies created using these reactions, will provide protection from future infection – but we should note that it is unlikely that this protection would be for life. The same situation with the other coronaviruses that can infect humans. Therefore, even if the majority have been ill with the coronavirus, he will still be endemic – which means we will have to deal with regular seasonal outbreaks”, – said the virologist of Imperial College London Mike Skinner.

The coronavirus against heat and mutations

Given the findings of scientists, it becomes clear that COVID-19 has come to stay. Because by the time guaranteed to earn the mechanism of vaccination, will not be less than a year. However, there are lighter moments.

First, numerous studies show that with the advent of the summer season – with the heat and dryness, the ability of coronaviruses to survive outside the human body – and thus to spread and to infect others – will fall significantly. And so, like his colleagues on the symptoms of flu and colds as well as other strains of coronavirus have COVID-19 has all chances to become a seasonal scourge. In particular, scientists from Bachinskogo University in Beijing found that with the increase in air temperature by 10 degrees the number of infections with coronavirus is reduced by 20% percent. To similar conclusions came and scientists from the Ruhr University in Bochum, who found that the same number of initial patients, the number of infected in Italy, when the average day temperature was 9 degrees, was 4 times higher than in Thailand, where the temperature is kept at 35 degrees. However, Ukrainian experts do not exclude that Ukraine summer will be difficult in epidemiological terms.

Second, high transmissibility and the speed of propagation of the coronavirus, paradoxically, means that it is not necessary to be afraid of mutations, which can make an already dangerous disease is a death sentence for humanity. “We must address this pandemic from the perspective of the virus. It is very well distributed worldwide. It’s all good. Mutations will not bring any benefit, and therefore it is very unlikely,” says Mike Skinner.

Every day humanity comes to know more about the virus, which challenged the strongest States and even the global world order. Sooner or later this knowledge will help to finally defeat this “new plague” – that scientists are not in doubt. But do not expect miracles and be patient. And while scientists and physicians as a result of hard work will not reveal all the secrets COVID-19, all of us will have to continue to live in troubled and non-performing coronavirus reality.