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General News of Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Source: Ghanaian Times

Search for cure for coronavirus disease: Noguchi poised to develop vaccine

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research has commenced processes in developing a vaccine for the Coronavirus disease which has spread among 213 countries and territories worldwide, leading to hundreds of death.

According to the institute, it had started researching the characteristics of the virus in order to come up with a cure of the deadly COVID-19 which has affected 11,964 and killed 54 persons in Ghana, while 7,342,779 cases have been confirmed globally, with 414,126 death as at Tuesday evening, According to figures by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“We are establishing the cultures of the virus for anti-viral testing protocols because we want to develop more vaccines that are tailored to us,” Dr James Aboagye, a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute said.

He explained that Noguchi did a sequencing earlier on the viruses and are currently studying the evolution of those viruses over a period of time to identify characteristics peculiar to the country’s cases been confirmed to target for vaccine development.

He, however, mentioned that Noguchi is not in a hurry in coming up with a vaccine, as the nature of the virus might change with time.

“For us we’re not so much in a rush towards the vaccine section because the virus might change.”

A vaccine helps the body’s immune system by producing antibodies to fight viruses and bacteria.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) vaccines protect against more than 25 threatening diseases, including measles, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, meningitis, influenza, tetanus, typhoid and cervical cancer.

Dr Aboagye also mentioned that the Institute has the requisite technical know-how and personalities in various departments to meet the growing trends in scientific research.

“Noguchi has very detailed and knowledgeable people who are experts in their fields of study and we build our capacity and involve ourselves in various training to build up the institute,” he said.

He also disclosed that some research activities of the Institute have been put on hold as a result of the COVID-19.

“We have other research projects going on but this COVID-19 has brought all of this to a halt.”

Scientists and companies around the world are working on potential treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus disease to slow the pandemic and lessen the disease’s damage.

Although no vaccine has completed clinical trials, several efforts are in progress to develop such a vaccine for the COVID-19.

A WHO document showed t 10 candidate vaccines in the clinical evaluation as of June 9.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are six general stages of the development cycle of a vaccine which are: exploratory stage, pre-clinical stage, clinical development, regulatory review and approval, manufacturing and quality control.

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