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Coronavirus: How close are we to a vaccine?

Date: 2020-03-15 09:24:15
Source of News : BBC News


Researchers have developed vaccines and are starting to test them on animals, and if that goes well there could be human trials later in the year.

But even if scientists can celebrate having developed a vaccine before Christmas, there is still the massive job of being able to mass-produce it.

It means, realistically, one would not be ready until at least the middle of next year.

All of this is happening on an unprecedented timescale and using new approaches to vaccines, so there are no guarantees everything will go smoothly.

Remember there are four coronaviruses that already circulate in human beings. They cause the common cold, and we don't have vaccines for any of them.

It will, almost inevitably, be less successful in older people. This is not because of the vaccine itself, but aged immune systems do not respond as well to immunisation. We see this every year with the flu jab.

All medicines, even Paracetamol, have side effects. But without clinical trials it is impossible to know what the side effects of an experimental vaccine may be.

Vaccines prevent infections and the best way of doing that at the moment is good hygiene.

If you are infected by coronavirus, then for most people it would be mild. There are some anti-viral drugs being used in clinical trials, but we cannot say for sure that any of these work.