COVID-19 vaccine studies continue. Scientists continue to search for drugs to alleviate COVID-19 infection. Because vaccines are not the only way to protect and get rid of coronavirus.
While the COVID-19 vaccine studies continue, scientists are also trying to develop drugs. Because vaccines protect people who are not infected. But there is no global medicine yet that is making infected people recover faster.
In the early days of the pandemic, even optimists thought a vaccine was at least five years away. The world was desperate to find a way to prevent coronavirus cases. In such a case, Hydroxychloroquine came into play. This drug, which has been used to treat malaria for decades, has sparked great controversy. The drug was first approved by a group of scientists in France for the treatment of coronavirus. So much so that it led to a medicine shortage.
What is the reason for the hydroxychloroquine controversy?
Concerns about the safety of hydroxychloroquine increased. Trials then came to a halt, and health authorities in the US and UK revoked the emergency use of the drug. Finally, data from June 2020 hit the last nail in the coffin of the drug. It turned out that the drug did not provide improvement in COVID-19 patients in the hospital.
New viral variants, suspended vaccines and slow vaccination in some parts of the world show that vaccines cannot cure everything. In March, the UK government began testing prophylactic or preventive treatments for COVID-19. He announced that he has financed two clinical trials, one in nursing homes and the other in people with a weakened immune system.
First study, trial of the tapeworm drug niclosamide in immunocompromised patients. It works especially in those who are undergoing dialysis treatment, kidney transplant, or those with autoimmune conditions that require medication to suppress the immune system. Cambridge University researchers lead the trial PROTECT-V.
The team announced that they decided on niclosamide because it has been in use for years and can be applied easily with a nasal spray. This drug prevents the replication of the virus in the nasal (nasal) epithelial cells most affected by Sars-CoV-2.
Vaccines not the only solution for COVID-19
People on dialysis have a much higher mortality rate than others during the pandemic. For example, one out of every five COVID-19 positive dialysis patients in the UK died in 14 days. For these people, a preventive treatment is life-saving. Because patients do not tend to respond as well to vaccines as healthy people. The reason for this is that their immune system does not produce too many antibodies.
Previously, researchers had studied the response of organ transplant recipients to coronavirus vaccines. They found that only 17 percent of patients who received one dose of vaccine produced antibodies against the Sars-CoV-2 virus.
The second trial, called PROTECT-CH, is looking for another type of preventive treatment. They are examining a drug taken after an infection. Philip Bath, principal investigator at the University of Nottingham, did not say exactly which drugs to try. However, he stated that they are already using these drugs in the UK National Health System.
The trial is aimed at nursing homes. “You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket,” Bath said. explains the importance of the drug. If we can find a cheap, approved and widely produced drug like niclosamide, we can heal the wounds of countries where vaccines are much slower.