By: Hassan Isdodi
We all have questions, when can we expect a vaccine? who will get it first? how much will it cost?
The virus has a crown of spikes made of protein molecules. They attach to human cells and act as a key in a lock that lets the virus in once inside the virus hijacks the cell's reproductive machinery to make copies of itself. But there are different ways of making a vaccine.
Some labs are taking the more traditional routs. They are testing whether introducing different parts of the spike protein into humans can trigger an immune response. Other labs are working on a different strategy that has never been done before.
It involves copying a small section of the virus RNA genetic code and injecting that into a person. Then this RNA fragment instructs human cells to reproduce certain coronavirus protein. And hopefully, that triggers an immune response.
Dozens of labs are now battling in a race for a vaccine. Based on most estimates we could get a new vaccine sometime early next year. So who will get it first? Right now there is no international body to police distribution of a vaccine, not even the WHO has that power. WHO says that any new vaccine should first go to the people who need it the most- like the frontline workers.
It's also worth remembering that until we get the treatments or the vaccine, most of us can rely on our own immune systems. So the general advice is to stay healthy, eat well, and exercise.
Source: Al Jazeera English