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Human Trials of Two Coronavirus Vaccines Start in China

China has started clinical trials on two potential COVID-19 vaccines, the country’s official state-run press agency reported citing the State Council joint coronavirus prevention and control mechanism.

The experimental vaccines were created by teams at the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, which is associated with the state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group, and Sinovac Research and Development Co., Ltd, which is based in the Chinese capital of Beijing. Both trials have started, the report stated.

Both of the vaccine candidates are inactivated, meaning they contain virus particles which are unable to cause disease, Xinhua reported.

According to a draft list of candidate vaccines published by the World Health Organization dated April 11, 70 vaccines to prevent COVID-19 are being developed around the world.

Teams are taking different approaches, such as by using the genetic material of the coronavirus as their basis rather than inactive particles. Last month, Chinese biopharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics started clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine Ad5-nCoV using the RNA, or genetic information, of the coronavirus.

a hand holding an object: A health worker unrelated to the vaccine effort holds nasal swab samples to be tested for COVID-19 at the Istanbul University Cerrahpasa medical faculty hospital on April 10, 2020 in Istanbul.© OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images A health worker unrelated to the vaccine effort holds nasal swab samples to be tested for COVID-19 at the Istanbul University Cerrahpasa medical faculty hospital on April 10, 2020 in Istanbul.
Scientists at the biotech company Moderna also took this approach. In March, their COVID-19 vaccine was the first to be trialed in humans, at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute.

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Despite experts working across the globe, creating a vaccine is a relatively lengthy process. Back in February, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) told CNN New Day host John Berman a vaccine is “at least a year to a year and a half [away] at best.”

Last week, a scientist at Oxford University in the U.K. forecast her team’s vaccine would be ready by this fall. Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at Oxford, told British newspaper The Times a preparation could be finished by September.

“That is just about possible if everything goes perfectly. We have to go for that. Nobody can give any guarantees, nobody can promise it’s going to work and nobody can give you a definite date, but we have to do all we can as fast as we can,” she said.

As scientists race to create not only a vaccine but also a specific treatment for COVID-19, cases continue to rise. According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 1.9 million people have been diagnosed with the disease worldwide, a total of 119,818 people have died, and over 458,000 have recovered.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.
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Written by MT

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