The WORLD’S FIRST HUMAN TRIAL OF A COVID-19 VACCINE
By AAMEG | 19 March 2020
The first human clinical trial of a COVID-19 vaccine was administered Monday 16 March 2020.
COVID-19 is caused by a new virus, which means no-one has any immunity when they are first exposed to it like they might do with other viruses.
“With flus they’re all derived from very similar types of viruses, whereas this is a new virus where everyone is naive to [it],” said evolutionary biologist Jemma Geoghegan of the University of Otago, who studies the emergence and evolution of viruses.
This means when it comes to cures for COVID-19, while scientists can draw on what we know about other viruses, in many ways they’re starting from scratch.
Viral infections are often harder to cure than bacterial infections because you can’t treat them with antibiotics, although antiviral medications are available for some infections.
Treatments might be used to alleviate the symptoms of your infection while your immune system is fighting the virus.
Conversely, vaccines are designed to prevent people getting infected in the first place.
They do this by imitating the infection, so that the body’s immune system knows how to fight that particular infection and protect you against getting it in the future.