The SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for coronavirus (COVID-19) targets humans’ respiratory system with flu-like symptoms and pneumonia. However, the coronavirus strain is “novel”, meaning it has never affected humans.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
Danish company Expres2ion Biotechnologies is the latest company to receive funding from the European Commission to develop a viable candidate coronavirus vaccine.
The hope is to test the vaccine on humans within a year.
The Laboratory of Virology in Wageningen will produce particular proteins to be used in the coronavirus vaccine.
This is not the first time the European Commission has provided funding for scientific research on treatment, diagnostics and immunisation for the new coronavirus, but is the first funding has a clearly defined purpose.
The Wageningen approach is to produce the coronavirus proteins in insect cells, allowing large quantities to be made swiftly and safely.
The consortium will develop several different prototype vaccines, the best of which will eventually be developed further.
This selection is hoped to be made in autumn 2020, which is in competition with some 35 other vaccines in development.
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Volunteers to be infected with experimental coronavirus vaccines:
The news of the latest company to join in the race to defeat the coronavirus epidemic arrives with the announcement volunteers could be paid participate in trials for a cure.
Human guinea pigs could receive up to £3,500 to be infected with the coronavirus as scientists search for a vaccine.
London’s Queen Mary BioEnterprises Innovation Centre is rep[ortedly recruiting 24 people for the study.
Volunteers will be injected with two weaker strains of the deadly virus, giving them similar respiratory symptoms.
A jab developed by the company Hvivo will then be tested.
Patients will remain in quarantine for two weeks to see if the trial is successful.
The UK government has promised an extra £46million in the fight against coronavirus.
However, experts have said a vaccine is unlikely to be approved in time to halt the current epidemic.
Is coronavirus now a pandemic?
With coronavirus spreading rapidly across the world, at what point does the virus become a pandemic?
There is not a set definition in place for defining a pandemic.
However, an outbreak usually becomes a pandemic when there is sustained person-to-person transmission of the disease around the world.
An epidemic is defined as the rapid spread of an infectious disease through a community at any particular time.
The virus SARS-COV2, which causes COVID-19, has not yet been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
However, this does not mean the virus does not have the potential to become a pandemic.
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