U.S. begins vaccine development against pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan

CNN reports that research institutions in the United States are working to develop a vaccine against a new pneumonia virus that broke out in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Fauchi, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases under the National Institutes of Health, said that the initial steps of vaccine development are taking place, and it may take several months before the first phase of clinical trials begin, and the vaccine will not be available for more than a year. The new virus is a coronavirus that belongs to the same family as the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus that broke out in Asia in 2003 and killed more than 700 people; the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus, which has claimed more than 800 lives since 2012 Coronavirus. Hottz, a vaccine scientist at Baylor University School of Medicine in Houston, said a group of scientists in Texas, New York and China is also developing vaccines. “The lesson we learned is that coronavirus is very serious and is one of the latest and most important global health threats.” He said, compared to other viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or influenza. It is not so difficult to develop a coronavirus vaccine. “Each virus will set its own level, but coronavirus will be a relatively clear and understandable vaccine target.” He also said that if the vaccine is developed, medical staff may be included in the first batch of vaccines because they face the infected patients directly. In addition, he believes that scientists are able to develop vaccines against viruses that were discovered less than a month ago, which is ‘great’, thanks to Chinese researchers who quickly determine and publish the viral genome sequence. Hotz mentioned: “It took almost a year to identify and map the complete genetic code when the SARS broke out, and it is now completed in a few weeks.” But Fuchs emphasized that there is still about the new 2019 coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Many questions, “The situation is still evolving and it is difficult to predict what it will become. We must take it very seriously.”

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