HISTORY OF CORONAVIRUS
All of the coronaviruses originally came from bats. And bats have over 500 different coronaviruses. Four of them cause the common cold, SARS, and MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) in humans. And, where we believe they are coming from is what we call wet markets in China.
In the wet markets, they keep live animals. And basically, the feeling is, you get somewhat invigoration from the animal. And, the closer the animal is to have been alive, the more invigoration you get. It is a perfect way to transmit viruses back and forth between species.
SARS, transmitted from bats to civet cats. And, the restaurants in Hong Kong were keeping the civet cats until people ordered them. So, the civet cats had one from the bat to the civet cat to humans. For MERS, it went from the bats to camels. And, it is the camels that are transmitting it to humans.
The wet markets are all closed in China, and the Chinese government has suggested that they are going to try and outlaw these wet markets. But, it is ingrained in traditional Chinese culture. So, it would be hard. But, if they do not close these wet markets, we will see more coronaviruses.
CURRENT SITUATION OF COVID-19
In the current situation, the highest suspect for Covid-19 is the Pangolins. Pangolins are armored anteaters. They are mammals and endangered species. But, they were kept in the wet markets. And, there is a coronavirus from pangolin that is a 99 percent match with the current coronavirus.
Currently, there are 40.9 million active cases of Covid-19 worldwide. Countries with the highest number of infected people are:
|The United States||8.32 million||221,000|
Also, the number of infections is increasing day by day. The following graph shows the increasing rate of coronavirus infection from January 2019 to October 2020.
COMPANIES INVOLVED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COVID-19 VACCINE
The pandemic has not only affected the lives of the people but also it has affected the whole economy of the world. Therefore, every nation is in the race to develop the vaccine for Covid-19. There are more than 150 vaccines under development for Covid-19 in the world.
Vaccines go through a clinical trial process that consists of three stages. They are:
- Stage one: Checks the safety of a vaccine and determines whether it triggers an immune response in a small group of healthy humans.
- Stage two: Widens the testing pool to include groups of people who may have the disease or be more likely to catch it to gauge the vaccine’s effectiveness.
- Stage three: Expands the pool up to the thousands to make sure the vaccine is safe and effective among a wider array of people, given that immune response can vary by age, ethnicity, or by underlying health conditions.
Some of the companies that are developing the vaccine are:
Novavax is a biotechnology company located in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The name of the vaccine is NVX-CoV2373. The company announced its third phase trial on September 24, 2020, in the UK. It mentioned that about 10 thousand people will get the vaccines. Also, it is going to vaccinate about 400 people against the seasonal flu. It is part of a sub-study, and it will find out if it is safe to vaccine the patients, both at the same time.
- Johnson & Johnson
Johnson & Johnson is one of the world’s largest multinational corporations located in New Jersey. The company specializes in healthcare and pharmaceutical products. The name of the vaccine in development by Johnson & Johnson for Covid-19 is JNJ-78436735. It announced a phase three ENSEMBLE trial on September 23, 2020. The trial was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.
- Moderna Therapeutics
Moderna Therapeutics is a Massachusetts-based biotech company. The name of the Covid-19 vaccine by this company is mRNA-1273. Moderna started its phase three clinical trials on July 27, 2020. The vaccine, in the first stage, produced coronavirus antibodies and a reaction from T-cells. It showed healthy results, including elderly people. The company will test the third stage vaccine on about 30 thousand U.S. participants.
- The Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology
It is a Russian research institution, in partnership with the state-run Russian Direct Investment Fund. The name of the vaccine is Sputnik V. There is a lack of published evidence of the effectiveness of the vaccine. Still, Russia has cleared the Sputnik V vaccine for widespread use. Also, Russia claimed the vaccine was the first registered COVID-19 vaccine on the market. However, the World Health Organization lists the Sputnik V in phase one of the clinical trials.