As the world is battling to develop a vaccine to fight the novel coronavirus, two studies conducted on monkeys show that the animals may develop immunity against the disease once infected earlier. As per reports, scientists infected nine monkeys with COVID-19 in one of the studies, and after they recovered researchers exposed them to the virus again only to find that the animals did not get sick the second time.
In the second study, scientists reportedly tested six prototype vaccines on 25 monkeys and then exposed them to the virus along with ten other animals without vaccines. The study showed that the ten animals contracted coronavirus in very high degrees, while the monkeys who had received the prototype vaccines were protected by the disease at some level. As per reports, eight of the vaccinated monkeys did not contract the virus at all.
The new studies are reassuring but researchers say there is not enough evidence to prove that humans will develop similar immunity against the disease.
As far as the vaccine development program is concerned, eight countries have started human trials of potential COVID-19 vaccine and that includes China, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The race to develop a potential vaccination between these countries has begun with US firm Moderna Inc currently leading in the lot. Recently, Oxford's experimental vaccine has received a blow after it failed to protect monkeys, its test subjects from getting infected.
It seems that a vaccine may still be far away as the United States' CDC member Dr. Anthony Fauci said that a potential vaccine could take up to 12-18 months to develop before it can be used for commercial use. Vaccination is currently the only hope as the coronavirus outbreak is not tending to slow down. According to figures by Johns Hopkins University, the coronavirus outbreak has surpassed the 5 million mark in terms of the total number of confirmed cases across the world with over 3,28,000 deaths.
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