Photo: BioWorld
Photo: BioWorld

Promising COVID-19 Vaccines in the U.S. and Russia

Institutes in both countries are set to have vaccines that will move to their final stage of testing, a public study.


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Every corner of the world is suffering from both the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Deaths in the U.S. have surpassed 137,000 and companies around the globe are set to take on $1 trillion in debt this year. 

With events being canceled everywhere and the virus continuing to take up so much airtime, it is hard for the public to see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

But it may be coming sooner than expected. 

The National Institute of Health and Moderna Inc have had promising results from a vaccine they have been testing. 

The results are from a test done in March on 45 volunteers, ages 18 to 55, by the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle. 

The participants in the study triggered an immune response by developing what are known as neutralizing antibodies, these are essential to block infections. 

The only downside is that the volunteers did develop coronavirus-like symptoms after receiving their dose at the injection site. 

The side effects include: chills, head and muscle pain, fatigue and fevers.

They did not last beyond a day after receiving the dose, but it was found that the higher the dose, the more intense the side effects. 

"Our goal is to have a vaccine available for broad distribution by year-end or early next year," Stephen Hoge, Moderna president, told CBS in May. 

The next step is expected to begin around July 27 and would be a test of the vaccine on 30,000 people. Half of those participants will receive a placebo, and it will be the largest COVID-19 vaccine study done so far. 

The vaccine could not come sooner for the U.S., as multiple states are seeing a resurgence in cases. 

It also comes only months before schools are supposed to start up again, but parents are unsure whether their children will be taking classes online or going back to school.

 “I do think the fall and the winter of 2020 and 2021 are probably going to be the most difficult times that we’ve experienced in American public health,” said Robert Redfield, Head of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

President Donald Trump is not siding with school districts that are choosing not to have in-person learning in the fall and believes it is being done to bar him from bolstering the economy again. 

“We have to open our schools,” he said when asked about the Los Angeles school district announcing they will not go back to school in the fall, “a decision like that is politics because we’re starting to do very well in the polls because I’m for law and order, I’m for strong business…”  

Russia is also one of the countries that is worst affected by the novel coronavirus. They have the fourth-highest number of confirmed cases in the world. 

Even with the rising cases, the country still celebrated the 75th anniversary of Victory Day, a commemoration of the day the Russians defeated the Nazis. Hardly anyone was seen wearing a face mask and yet, the event included many elderly veterans, thousands of troops and Vladimir Putin. 

Russia tested two types of COVID-19 vaccines that were developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology. One was examined at a military hospital and the other at a medical university. 

Their sample size was 20 people, but subjects developed immunity. There were no reported health complications that came from the injections. 

After volunteers received their doses, they were told quarantine for 28 days for an observation period. They will be discharged this week, but were asked to come back in two weeks for further testing. 

Both the United States and Russia hope to be the first to have found a solution to the global pandemic. 

It used to be the race to get to the moon, but now it is the race to see which country finds the cure for coronavirus first. As long as the tests and vaccines are safe, then the rest of the world will be thankful.


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