November 2020 vaccine development announcements:
Recent announcements provide an optimistic outlook for an effective vaccine against COVID-19. The news certainly offers hope, but should be viewed with cautious optimism. Furthermore, the advent of a vaccine will not eliminate COVID-19, but will form part of the armoury that will be used to protect the community, along with social distancing, good hand hygiene and even mask wearing.
There are 4 lead vaccine candidates as far as Australia is concerned – none are currently registered for use in Australia:
- Pfizer / BioNTech have presented preliminary data indicating their vaccine was 90% percent effective. The data is actually about efficacy not effectiveness, which are not the same thing. Effectiveness can be calculated in phase 4 studies on large populations, but not from phase 3 trials. (Eg. Influenza vaccine can reach 80% efficacy with only 50% effectiveness). The issue of logistics for this vaccine is not yet fully understood. The vaccine (based on mRNA), will have to be chilled to minus 80 degrees Celsius (minus 112 degrees Fahrenheit) until it’s ready to be injected. The vaccine will be manufactured off-shore.
- AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have developed a vaccine based on a chimpanzee adenovirus called ChAdOx1. Trials continue with results expected by the end of December. It is intended that the vaccine will be manufactured using the Seqirus manufacturing facilities.
- Novavax launched a Phase 3 trial in the UK, with another planned for the USA in November. They have reached an agreement with the Serum Institute of India, which has the capacity to produce 2 billion doses a year, with 40 million doses to expected to be delivered to Australia in 2021.
- University of Queensland launched Phase 1 trials in July, combining the proteins with an adjuvant made by CSL. The vaccine delivers viral proteins altered to draw a stronger immune response. An agreement has been reached with the Australian government to deliver 51 million doses if the trials deliver positive results. It will be manufactured by CSL with first supply of the vaccines by mid-2021.
Here are some helpful links and information for Australians seeking to find out the latest about the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak (formally referred to as 2019 nCoV):
World health Organisation
Facts about the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) – WHO:
The number of reported cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) is increasing as more cases are being identified. At the same time, the number of people being tested is increasing, as more countries do systematic testing. It is important to put figures into perspective:
The #coronavirus threatens few compared to familiar flu viruses. Based on its weekly influenza report, the CDC estimates that there have been more than 15 million cases of the flu and more than 8,200 deaths in the 2019-2020 flu season in the U.S. alone.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to update healthcare professionals on evolving facts. You can get the latest information on the WHO website: http://who.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/c88e37cfc43b4ed3baf977d77e4a0667
Australian Government resources:
Travel Advice – China: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/search?search=china
General Information: https://health.act.gov.au/public-health-alert/information-about-novel-coronavirus
ACT health professionals will be updated as required. Please check this information regularly. at: https://www.health.act.gov.au/health-professionals/chief-health-officer-alerts
General information: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/novelcoronavirus
Information for health services and general practitioners – novel coronavirus: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/information-health-services-and-general-practitioners-novel-coronavirus
Information for the public: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/information-public-novel-coronavirus
Information for the education sector: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/information-education-sector-novel-coronavirus
General information: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus-faqs.aspx
General information: https://health.nt.gov.au/news/coronavirus
For the latest information: health.gov.au
General information: https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus
Questions & Answers
Answer: No, antibiotics do not work against viruses, only bacteria.
The 2019-nC0V is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.
Answer: People of all ages can be infected by the virus.
Older people & those with pre-existing medical conditions appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
Answer: To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the virus.
WHO is helping to accelerate research and development efforts with a range of partners.
Answer: No. Vaccines against pneumonia do not provide protection against 2019-nCoV.
The virus is new and different. It needs its own vaccine.
Answer: At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs, cats can be infected with the virus.
However, it is always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets.
Answer: Yes, it is safe. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting #2019nCoV.
From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.
Answer: No. Sesame oil is delicious, but it does not kill 2019-nCoV.
Answer: Garlic is a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence from the current outbreak that eating garlic has protected people from 2019-nCoV.
Answer: No. There is no evidence that using mouthwash will protect you from infection with the new coronavirus.
Do one thing and reduce the risk of getting any of these diseases…
- Norovirus (Vomiting and diarrhea)
- Hepatitis A
- Chicken pox
- Common cold
- Lassa fever
- Coronavirus etc
Just one thing … “PROPER HANDWASHING”
Handwashing is underrated!