Good News for COVID-19 Vaccine Treatments

Good News for COVID-19 Vaccine Treatments

It seems for every step taken to slow the coronavirus, there is news of two steps back. As each state slides into re-opening phases and then each state reports infection spikes through the roof, it is like we are trying to hammer a nail with a feather. Even the famed emergency-use authorization for medications chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (previously used to battle malaria and which the American president irresponsibly dosed himself with) has been revoked by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These medicines are now labeled, “unlikely to be effective in treating Covid-19”. Add in civil protests that have spurned intense street violence and property damage and 2020 seems like a year out of a science fiction movie. 

Yet, like any crisis, progress looms peripherally. Lawmakers are responding to the protests of marginalized citizens and when it comes to fighting this virus, there is actually good news for COVID-19 vaccine treatment. 

3 Proven Treatments

As the planet nears half a million deaths from coronavirus in just four months time, scientists are clocking long lab hours testing many different applications for eradicating or, in the very least, slowing COVID-19. According to a recent article by Forbes, there are three proven treatments now showing good promise, especially when it comes to saving lives struggling in hospitals all over the world. 

  • Remdesivir – A drug produced by Gilead Sciences that is a broad-spectrum antiviral which works by blocking virus replication. A clinical human trial of Remdesivir was shown to reduce hospital stays. 30% to 40% effective.
  • Dexamethasone – This steroid is used to treat inflammation which, in the lungs, is one of the major killers this virus presents. 25% to 30% effective.
  • Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) – This process involves transferring a component of antibody rich blood of recovered patients into the body of sick patients. CPT is showing a 30% to 60% success rate.

These top contenders are now being used in full swing across the globe. However, with the successful percentage rates not high enough to apply one treatment en masse, researchers are now considering the application of all these treatments at once.

Stacking the Deck

Sometimes, as is found with the cocktail treatment for those infected with HIV, a combination of medicines have shown to work more efficiently together than alone. This is what is being proposed for fighting COVID-19. 

According to Geoffrey Porges, a doctor and biotech analyst at SVB Leerink (healthcare sector investment bank), it was reported to Forbes that,

“There is no reason to believe that a combination of remdesivir and dexamethasone and convalescent plasma might not give additive benefits such that you could be reducing the mortality by 60% or 70%, not 30% or 40%,”

Treatment with this combo needs to be delivered in a less invasive way as remdesivir must be administered through injection. Daniel O’Day, CEO of Gilead Sciences, maker of remdesivir, told Forbes, 

“We may be able to provide this in an inhaled version, which would be less invasive, of course, and potentially more in an outpatient setting,”   

Until a vaccine wipes out COVID-19 (expectations are late 2020 to early 2021), cocktails such as these may be the primary source of current successful treatment. 

On the Horizon

September is turning out to be a hot month for vaccine data. Although phasing in will fluctuate from state to state, if more people adhere to safety measures we may have a vaccine sooner than later. This is because when labs can go forward with strong, rapid testing and not slow down due to virus spikes, successful vaccine production has a better chance. 

Dr. Porges cites the company Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) which has already started a potential vaccine trial with data due out by September. However, science will designate these and many other vaccine hopefuls to being administered to the critically ill as well as medical workers and other essentials. The rest, those less vulnerable, will most likely present as asymptomatic (show no symptoms) and be part of a ‘herd immunity’ social experiment into 2022. If enough people have antibodies the virus could weaken enough for science to get it under control.

Good News for COVID-19 Vaccine TreatmentsThis is good news for COVID-12 vaccine treatments. As information arises more good news will emerge. In the meantime, wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep feeding your immune system with strong natural boosters.