In a presentation by the Association of Researching Pharmaceutical Companies (vfa), which NewsABC.net has, it is warned that a vaccine will only be available in sufficient quantities “probably in 2021”.
The vfa spokesman said on request that the pressure on the industry was higher than ever – “the fact that it will still take a while before the results are reliable will not change anything.”
The corona pandemic will not end until a large amount of a vaccine is available to the world. Weekly, almost daily, there are therefore water level reports from the pharmaceutical industry and politics about progress in the development of appropriate funds.
Researchers at the University of Oxford, for example, are optimistic that they will have an effective vaccine in June; An investor from the company CureVac spoke of a vaccine at the end of the year, as did EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and US President Donald Trump.
Optimism that the Association of Researching Pharmaceutical Companies (vfa) is holding back. In a presentation that vfa representatives held on Monday in front of members of the health care tank Bundesverband Managed Care (BMC), it says: “Extensive agreement among experts: large amounts of vaccine not available before 2021″.
The vfa presentation includes 131 coronavirus vaccine projects worldwide. In some, volunteer testing had already started. “It is not so important who gets the first approval. It is important that as many as possible create the approval and produce it for global needs, ”says the presentation. “It’s a race against the pandemic; who is the first is not so important. ”
“No one can say for sure when we will have corona vaccines”
However, it will still take a while before approvals are granted, says Rolf Hömke to NewsABC.net. At vfa, Hömke is responsible for communication in the field of research and medicine; he created the association’s presentation on “Covid-19 and drug research”.
“Forecasts that aim for a vaccine by the end of the year must assume that everything runs smoothly in development – that there will be no problems with volunteer testing, dosage tests, the injection schedule and the start of large-scale production,” says Hömke.
Even if spring 2021 is given as the target date, this only applies if there are no major problems by then. In plain language means: “Nobody can say for sure when we will have vaccines nationwide.”
On the other hand, there is the intense need of the public in the corona crisis to want to know when – finally – a vaccine or effective medication against the virus is available. For many companies and research groups, this is unusual attention.
“This is why some often report interim results, others are more reluctant,” says Hömke. “That does not change the fact that it will take a while before the results are reliable.”
5 reasons why the novel corona virus can hardly be stopped
- 1. The virus can fly.
Much is still unclear about the transmission pathways of the novel corona virus. However, scientists assume that it is primarily a droplet infection. If a person coughs or sneezes, droplets are released into the air that are absorbed by other people through the breath. So the virus can basically fly.
The ability of the virus to fly is low: it has a maximum range of 1.8 meters. However, assuming densely populated cities, this distance is absolutely sufficient for the virus to spread quickly, reports NTV.
- 2. The virus often remains undetected.
The novel corona virus Sars-CoV-2 is similar in many ways to its predecessor Sars-CoV-1, which triggered the Sars pandemic in 2002/2003.
However, the novel corona virus has a special feature: it is contagious two to three days before symptoms appear. Sars CoV-1 patients, on the other hand, were infectious only after the symptoms appeared.
In addition, scientists believe that up to 60 percent of people infected with the novel coronavirus develop only slight or no symptoms, according to the journal “Nature”.
If people do not feel sick, they are less careful when dealing with other people. The virus uses infected people unnoticed as a “springboard”, according to NTV.
- 3. The structure of the virus favors easy transmission.
The illustration of the novel corona virus shows that it has a so-called spike protein. This three-part protein enables the virus to dock onto the ACE2 receptor in human cells. Researchers from the University of Texas found out in a study.
Unlike its predecessor, the Sars virus, the novel coronavirus attaches itself very firmly to the receptor. “Surprisingly, the ACE2 receptor binds to the spike binding site of the new coronavirus with 10 to 20 times higher affinity than to Sars-CoV “, The researchers are quoted on the website” Wissenschaft.de “. “That could explain why this virus spreads so easily from person to person.”
In addition, the novel corona virus is the only one of its kind to use the enzyme furin, which could also promote its stability and transferability, reports NTV with reference to the virologist Gary Whittaker from Cornell University.
- 4. The virus can survive surprisingly long in the outside world.
Unlike bacteria, viruses do not consist of a cell of their own, nor do they have their own metabolism. You therefore need a host cell to survive.
However, the novel coronavirus is viable for a surprisingly long time outside the human body. A research group from the United States found that Sars-CoV-2 can survive two to three days on plastic and stainless steel and is therefore potentially contagious. According to the researchers, the pathogens remained intact on cardboard for 24 hours.
This indicates that the virus is extremely robust. However, the pathogens were observed in the test under laboratory conditions on the surfaces mentioned, NTV points out.
- 5. The virus mutates – and has a control mechanism.
Once the virus has entered the human cell, it copies its own genomic material, creating a large number of replications of itself.
“The virus then assembles into new viruses in the cell, and they can be released from the cell and infect the neighboring cells and other cells again. And so the virus spreads from cell to cell, ”explained virologist Stephanie Pfänder in an interview with Deutschlandfunk Kultur.
Such replications also lead to mutations. These are not always beneficial for the virus. You can also inhibit the transmissibility of a pathogen. However, the novel corona virus has the ability to “proofread” so that mutations that are unfavorable for the virus are avoided, according to an article in the magazine “Nature”.