When will the coronavirus vaccine appear?
At the moment, scientists have developed several vaccine options and are already testing their effectiveness on animals. If the tests are successful, the next step - human tests - may begin this year.
If you look at things realistically, the emergence of an effective vaccine against coronavirus should be expected no earlier than mid-2021.
It should also be borne in mind that they are trying to develop the vaccine as soon as possible and new methods are used to create it, so there is no guarantee that everything will go smoothly.
It is worth remembering that at the moment there are already four types of coronaviruses among people, and there is no vaccine against any of them.
Will the vaccine help everyone?
The vaccine, unfortunately, will be less effective for older people. And the point is not in the vaccine itself, but in the fact that the immunity of older patients is less responsive when vaccinated. We see this every year when people get flu shots.
In addition, all drugs have side effects, even paracetamol. But without clinical trials, we cannot speak with confidence about the possible side effects of an experimental vaccine.
How to protect yourself in the absence of a vaccine?
The vaccine is designed to protect us from infection, but so far the best way to protect ourselves from danger is to observe the rules of hygiene.
How is the vaccine developed?
The vaccine should, without prejudice to the patient’s health, “introduce” his immune system to the neutralized virus or bacteria. The body recognizes the "enemy" and learns to deal with it.
Then, if our body encounters the same infection in real conditions, our immune system will already know what this pathogen is and how to act.
For decades, vaccines have been developed using true virus samples.
The measles and rubella vaccine is created using weakened versions of viruses that are not capable of causing a full-blow.
The seasonal flu vaccine is produced on the basis of the most common strains this year, by completely neutralizing them.
Other, less time-tested methods are used to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus, which help save time and resources. In particular, the method of creating a vaccine based on fragments of the genetic code of the virus is used.
Since we know the complete genetic code of the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus, we can develop a vaccine that, once introduced into the cell, produces pathogen proteins and elicits the necessary immune response.
In particular, scientists use the method of transferring a fragment of the Sars-CoV-2 genetic code into other viruses that are safe for humans.
Such a “genetic vaccination” should also theoretically help increase the immunity of the coronavirus.
Sometimes DNA or RNA fragments of pathogens are introduced directly. When ingested, they begin to produce pathogen proteins, and the immune system learns to withstand these proteins.