Ray of Hope: A Few Positive Findings Regarding COVID-19

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COVID-19

With the pandemic still going strong and showing no signs of slowing down, it is not surprising that our outlook has turned bleak. However, in these dark times, every positive piece of news brings great joy. Let’s have a look at a few studies that have shown encouraging results to help us foresee an end to this global crisis.

From scientists in Russia developing a vaccine with a great immune response to the creation of an intranasal vaccine that worked on mice, let us see which studies have given us positive results.

Russian Vaccine with Positive Response

Scientists at the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology created the Russian vaccine called Sputnik V. This vaccine has been devised using an altered form of the adenovirus that is responsible for the common cold. According to Denis Logunov, head of the research lab, when the vaccine enters cells, it delivers the genetic code for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. This causes the cells to produce the spike protein, thereby teaching the immune system to recognize the coronavirus and attack it.

The vaccine was tested in 2 phases that lasted for 42 days and had 38 healthy participants. The scientists wanted to first check the safety of the vaccine and its ability to get an immune response. The vaccine has shown a strong immune response during trials. This means the participants produced antibodies and T-cells after being administered the vaccine. The team will now enter phase 3, which will have 40,000 participants.

Hypertension Drugs and COVID-19 Survival

Data for 19 studies were pooled and it was found that the long-term use of hypertension drugs, or ACE2 inhibitors, might reduce the risk of severe illness from the virus. Though the role of these drugs has been controversial since the beginning of the pandemic, a review found that COVID-19 patients with high blood pressure were 33% less likely to die or get severely ill if they were on these drugs. This was compared to patients who were suffering from hypertension but did not take the drugs.

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According to Dr. Vassilios Vassiliou, lead researcher at Norwich Medical School, research shows that these medicines do not increase the risk of severity or death due to COVID-19. He also mentioned that since the world is getting prepared for the second wave of the infection, it is important to understand the impact of various medications on COVID-19 patients.

Intranasal Vaccine Works on Mice

A new experimental intranasal vaccine has been developed by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. This vaccine also uses the adenovirus in modified form. One such vaccine dose successfully protected the mice against the SARS-CoV-2 infection. According to the researchers, this vaccine does not have a live form of the virus, which makes it safer than other vaccines that are administered through the nose. He further said that this vaccine was found to be highly protective in mice and if successful on humans, will probably create protective immunity and curb the spread of the virus.

Apart from these, Japanese scientists have also studied and found that repurposing an arthritic drug can help in the treatment of severe COVID-19. Studies like these raise our hopes and help us to feel positive about the end of the pandemic that has changed our world.