The search for a cure, vaccine for COVID-19 is getting closer but at least a year until ready

Reporter: Veronica Marshall
Published: Updated:

Researchers here in the U.S. and across the globe are racing to try to find cures, vaccines and better tests for COVID-19.

One of the biggest questions people are asking how close are we to getting a vaccine?

A new development from the University of Pittsburgh is showing promise.

Dr. Andrea Gambotto with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine says, she thinks they have generated a type of vaccine that could be very effective, and relatively easy to manufacture and apply.

The vaccine would be delivered through a micro-needle array.

“It is a band-aid-like patch that has hundreds of microscopic needles,” says Dr. Louis Falo with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “In this particular case, the needles are made out of sugar substance, and we actually incorporate the vaccine directly into the needles.”

Researchers say the next step is getting approval to move forward with clinical trials.

Work on a possible vaccine and more treatment options are also being done at the Army’s top virus research lab in Maryland.

Meanwhile, new data out of China suggests malaria drugs could be helping patients recover faster.

The paper, which hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet, followed 62 COVID-19 patients in Wuhan. 31 were given hydroxychloroquine.

Compared to the control group, their fevers and coughs went away faster, and for most, their pneumonia improved as well.

The patient’s given hydroxychloroquine never developed severe symptoms either.

The FDA has authorized a test that could identify people who have been exposed to the coronavirus, even if they never developed any symptoms at all.

Why is this important?

CBS News Medical Contributor Dr. David Agus, explains, “They can’t get infected again, so they can be our ambulance drivers, people working in the emergency room, people working at cash registers. And at the same time, we can use it to develop vaccines.”

Regardless of how quickly a vaccine is developed, experts say it will still take a year before
it’s ready.



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