Aurora, Colorado. (CBS4)- Researchers who helped the COVID-19 vaccine become a reality as soon as possible say it was their plan since it was imperative to fight the virus ever since the pandemic began. They claim that there are multiple factors specific to the response over the past year that have allowed safe and effective vaccines to arrive within a year.
Dr. Thomas Campbell, Chief Clinical Research Officer at UC Health and Dean of Clinical Research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said: “The overwhelming support of the community for these exams has prompted more people to take part in the exams than they have the ability to register.”
Campbell explained that the process of developing this vaccine allowed him to work on multiple steps of the trial at the same time. Instead of waiting for one step to finish, they started receiving data early enough to move on to another step. Another major resource was the abundance of active participants so that trials of all three vaccines could be started immediately.
“These are the first vaccines launched, implemented and deployed using mRNA technology. I would expect them to not be the last,” Campbell said.
Both the Pfizer and Modelna vaccines first used this technology, but investment and research in this approach dates back to the 1990s. According to Campbell, the type of immune response triggered by the vaccine is suitable for viruses like COVID-19, but may not be effective against other illnesses. He hopes that mRNA will be used in many other infectious diseases because this approach targets a single protein from the virus called the spike protein. Hepatitis B vaccine, a method that was effective in the past, targeted one protein in the 1980s, he explained.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses an old technology, the viral vector approach. All three vaccines are not considered “live vaccines” in which the body is given a live but ineffective virus to build immunity. This method was used for vaccines such as smallpox.
“In this country, there were virtually so many COVIDs in late fall and early winter that we were able to get the data needed to determine if the vaccine would work much faster than everyone thought. “Campbell has been added.
To test the effectiveness of the vaccine, you need to get sick with the disease in question. The global pandemic caused millions of cases, most of which occurred in the United States, so the trials provided the necessary data faster than expected. Campbell says he always needs to know quickly if the vaccine is working. Therefore, when the vaccine proved to be effective, there was an important factor in advancing the process.
“We all need to be very grateful that it happened very quickly. Otherwise, if we didn’t have the vaccine, a mutant virus resistant to spontaneous immunity would have emerged. “I will.” “We will be in a very different place as a society now.”
Another element of research that helped develop vaccines very quickly is the history of similar illnesses. COVID-19 is just one of the coronaviruses the world has faced this century. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus we are currently fighting for, but the first SARS-CoV occurred in the early 2000s. This probably also originated from bats. Severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS was an epidemic that did not have the same public health challenges as COVID in this pandemic.
“Public health authorities were able to very quickly identify who had it based solely on symptoms, quarantining those individuals and preventing them from infecting others.” Campbell said of other coronaviruses.
About 10 years after SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, occurred. MERS-CoV also avoided the widespread infection seen in COVID, and neither of the other two coronaviruses required a vaccine. The ability of this latest coronavirus to spread without anyone showing major symptoms or appearing asymptomatic has created even more challenges.
“People are unaware that they are ill or have a very mild illness, but they can still spread the virus,” Campbell explained of COVID patients. “It makes it much harder to contain using public health measures.”
Wearing a mask, keeping a social distance, and isolating infected patients all helped contain SARS-CoV and MERS. This helped health authorities react to the current virus. However, that alone was not sufficient for COVID, and researchers needed to investigate these outbreaks and take further action.
“Many techniques for the success of these vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 have been learned from the other two coronaviruses,” he said.
Effective planning achieves the goal of delivering vaccines to the public quickly, and the work done in the past year will help fight other infectious diseases in the future. None of the vaccines have been fully approved by the FDA, but an emergency use authorization was required to make the vaccine in time to make a difference during this pandemic. Campbell expects approval as more vaccine data becomes available.
In addition to concerns about the rushing process, he knows that vaccine hesitation also comes from skepticism among the color community. He says some are worried that not enough people from different racial backgrounds are attending the trial.
Approximately 100,000 people participated, more than 36,000 Latino Americans registered, and an additional 15,000 black volunteers participated in all three vaccines. Currently available data show that the vaccine is as effective for people of color as white patients.
Other news: CDC Guide for COVID-19 Vaccine
“We are all very proud and grateful that we were able to do what we were trying to do,” Campbell said. “I think what I learned from SARS-CoV-2 will guide me in the next pandemic.”
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