By Samuel Case, FISM News
As the worldwide Covid-19 infection rate nears 5 million, according to the John Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center, laboratories across the globe are working around the clock to find a vaccine to defeat the microscopic enemy. A vaccine would not only mean the end to the pandemic but financial gain for whichever company can produce the treatment; a silver bullet for the virus and a golden egg for the company.
Just recently, Moderna announced positive results from its Phase 1 vaccine trials. The company says eight volunteers in the study are now producing antibodies similar to those seen in recovered COVID-19 patients. This news gave a bump in Modernas stock and a small bit of hope to the world. However, with such a small sample size, further tests will be needed to provide more conclusive data. Moderna is hoping to move onto Phase 2 trials soon, with a sample size of about 6oo volunteers. However, it should be noted; critical data has yet to be released to support their announcement, which, when produced, may cause a reassessment of the optimism.
While much of the buzz is around Moderna, other vaccines are showing promise as well. On Wednesday Inovio Pharmaceuticals said their vaccine is showing results in rodents. Like with Moderna, these antibody reports were a boon for the company with Inivio’s shares jumping 17.7%. Inovio has been performing human trials since April. However, those results will not be available until June. Developments from companies like Moderna and Inovio are brightening spirit, but there’s still a long way to go. It is expected a vaccine will take anywhere from 12 to 18 months, although some claim one could be ready as early as the fall. A vaccine also isn’t a failsafe against infection, like some may think.
During an interview on CNBC, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb pointed out a vaccine “might prevent you from getting COVID the disease, but you might still get the infection, sort of like the way a flu shot works…” Even though absolute immunity is desired, a vaccine that results in an infection with milder symptoms will be seen as a Godsend in the battle against the disease.