There is no denying that the COVID vaccine has been very much welcome.
The past year has taken us all by surprise, and the virus has had truly horrifying consequences for many people around the world.
We all eagerly awaited the development of a vaccination, and now the rollout has begun.
However, a COVID vaccine will not be enough to fight back. We also need COVID therapies to fight back.
While a successful COVID vaccine is an excellent lifesaving advance, it will not be enough to ensure that the crisis is brought under control.
Every day, thousands of people are being infected with this virus.
Treatments will be needed as well, and they will play an integral role in how we tackle the pandemic. For as long as people continue to get sick with the virus, we will need treatments to help them cope with this and the symptoms associated with it.
At the moment, there are three broad approaches that are being investigated regarding COVID therapies. This includes antibodies that can target the virus, which will either be made in a lab or come from the blood plasma of survivors.
The second option that is being explored is drugs that can calm the immune system down. In severe cases of COVID, the immune system overreacts, and this causes damage to the body.
Another option that is being explored is the use of antiviral drugs, which directly impact the virus’s ability to thrive inside the body.
Dr. Amit Kumar, President and CEO of Anixa Biosciences, a biotech company developing antiviral drugs stated, “We are starting to see variants of the virus that are able to evade vaccines to some extent.
As the virus continues to adapt to humanity, it’s possible that a new variant will arise that can render the current vaccines largely or completely ineffective.
All the current vaccines target the spike protein, which is where most of the mutations are occurring. Anitvirals will target other functional enzymes of the virus, which can also mutate, but will not do so as frequently.
Therefore, a powerful antiviral will be more effective and can be dose adjusted as needed for different patients.”
It is feasible that different drugs will be more or less effective at various stages of the disease. For example, in late-stage diseases, immune drugs may be more successful, whereas antivirals may be more effective at the beginning.
Because of this, therapy combinations are also currently being explored.
These treatments are needed for individuals who have already caught COVID, which vaccines do not help with. Vaccines stop people from contracting the virus, but they don’t aid those who already have it.
COVID-19 would essentially become a milder disease with effective treatment in place. It could stop the number of people being admitted into hospitals from needing ventilation, for instance, which would then stop these hospitals from being so overwhelmed.
All in all, it is certainly great to see that there have been effective COVID vaccines created around the world, which are now being given out to those who are the most vulnerable. However, it is essential to be realistic, and we know that these vaccines are not going to be enough on their own, unfortunately.
More has to be done, and COVID therapies need to be developed to make sure that we are able to fully fight back against this terrible virus that has impacted families all over the world.
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