Researchers and drug companies are scrambling to develop vaccines and treatments to fight the new coronavirus that emerged in central China in December and has spread to other countries, killing more than 2,000 people.
There are no proven treatments for COVID-19 and experts say it could take a year or more to have a vaccine ready. The hope is that strict quarantines in China and elsewhere will contain the virus’ spread long enough for scientists to develop tools to fight it. The following is a list of some of those efforts:
Vaccines work by training the immune system to recognize and fight specific viruses or germs, providing immunity against them. China’s early release of the genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus has allowed several research groups and companies to get a quick start on vaccine development without needing live virus samples.
Several efforts are using various “plug-and-play” vaccine platforms to develop vaccines using genetic material, RNA or DNA, specific to the virus.