A new clinical trial investigating whether the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine can protect health care workers from being infected with Covid-19, is expected to be launched in South Africa.

Potentially positive data on Covid-19 treatment, says WHO

“We do have some treatments that seem to be in very early studies limiting the severity or the length of the illness but we do not have anything that can kill or stop the virus.”

DURBAN – The search for a Coronavirus vaccine seems like a race against time. To accelerate the process, scientists from different countries are collaborating to develop a safe and effective vaccine for Covid-19 that can be manufactured and delivered in the scale of billions of doses to people globally.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that some treatments appear to be limiting the severity or length of the Covid-19 virus and that it was focusing on learning more about four or five of the most promising ones.

“We do have potentially positive data coming out but we need to see more data to be 100percent confident that we can say this treatment over that one.We do have some treatments that seem to be in very early studies limiting the severity or the length of the illness but we do not have anything that can kill or stop the virus,” said WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris.

More than 100 potential Covid-19 vaccines are being developed, including several in clinical trials.

As of April 8, the global Covid-19 vaccine research and development included 115 vaccine candidates, of which 78 are confirmed as active and 37 are unconfirmed. Of the 78 confirmed active projects, 73 are currently at exploratory or preclinical stages. The most advanced candidates have recently moved into clinical development.

Clinical data released last month on Remdesivir, a broad-spectrum antiviral medication, raised hopes that it might be an effective treatment. Several studies looking at combinations of antiviral medicines have also suggested they may help patients fight off the virus.

“In order to overcome the challenges in front of us, we each need to bring nothing short of our absolute best. The research and development of Covid-19 vaccines will require creativity, cooperation and commitment to save as many lives as possible as soon as we can. We want to see multiple successful vaccines and vaccine platforms meet the global need of immunizing billions of adults, children and restoring economic and health to the world,” said scientist Dr Larry Corey. 

Meanwhile, results of a trial in Hong Kong released this month showed a triple-drug combination of antiviral medicines helped relieve symptoms in patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 infection and swiftly reduced the amount of virus in their bodies.

 

 

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