SCIENTISTS in various countries are currently looking for the most effective drug against the corona virus (COVID-19). It is known that until now, the corona virus does not have a specific drug. While the number of corona virus patients throughout the world, including Indonesia, has reached 938,565 cases. A total of 47,303 people have died and 195,397 have been declared cured, as of Thursday 2 April 2020.
Scientists are competing to conduct research to find a vaccine for this disease. Like in Australia, scientists there began testing two candidate vaccines to fight the new corona virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine was made by Oxford University and the US company Inovio Pharmaceutical.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has given the green light to these scientists to use animals as experiments.
Reporting from BBC Indonesia, Thursday, Australia’s national science agency will conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of candidate vaccines and whether they are safe to use in humans. Tests on humans for the first time took place in the US last month.
The Australian Commonwealth and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) said the series of tests they carried out were the first comprehensive prospective pre-clinical vaccine trials using experimental animals.
Researchers say the speed and level of global cooperation that drives trials to this point is unprecedented.
“Usually it takes a year or two to reach this stage, but in fact we abbreviate it only in a period of several months,” said Dr. Rob Grenfell of CSIRO.
He explained, the CSIRO Team had inserted vaccine samples into the bodies of ferrets – small mammals that were proven to be infected with the corona virus in the same way as humans.
From at least 20 vaccine candidates that are being developed by a number of scientists around the world to fight the Sars-CoV-2 virus, CSIRO tested two of them selected by a consortium of global research monitors named Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations.
Candidates for vaccines developed by Oxford University are vector vaccines. The researchers used a “damaged” virus to incorporate the corona virus protein into the immune system thereby encouraging response.
“But they cannot multiply … so there is no possibility of getting sick from this vaccine,” continued Trevor Drew, Director of the Australian Animal Health Laboratory.
The other vaccine candidate, which Inovio made was called Trevor Drew as “somewhat different but still promising”. The second prospective vaccine is designed to encode certain corona virus proteins into the immune system.
This encourages the body’s cells to produce the proteins before the immune system reacts to them.
All results from animal tests can be released as soon as June. Later, if successful, the two vaccine candidates can then continue to clinical trials that can be carried out in other laboratories. And the next process is to conduct mass procurement of vaccines.