COVID 19: The WHO Promising Vacccines And Drugs For Treatment

By Stephen Ubanna

With barely one month after Tedros Adhanom, a Medical Doctor and Director General, World Health Organisaion, WHO, a health agency of the United Nations, UN,  launched the ‘Solidarity’ , which is an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment  for the Wuhan Town in Hebei Province of the Asian country  of China emerged coronavirus pandemic, popular, COVID 19, hope brightens for the development of the vaccines and drugs for the treatment of the disease.

Pharmaceutical Companies  in  the North American country of the United States and China, the world two Industrial giants  were said to have championed the move to produce the drugs with the Collaboration of the WHO.  The UN health agency  may have given the  COVID 19 patients across the world  of  hope of cure  when it settled for the US,drug, Hydrochloroquine, currently being  produce in NewYork State and others. 

The road to endorsing of the US Pharmaceutical Company produced drug was said to  have  started  when the Executive Group  of the Solidarity trial  met on Saturday, May 23, 2020. At the meeting where all the various options presented to the Group were weighed, it was said to  have decided  to implement  a temporary  pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm of the clinical trial, because of the concern raised  about the safety of the drug.

The Value News learnt that the  decision of the Executive Group of the WHO Solidarity  trial  to endorse the Hydroxychloroquine  drug was  sent to the Data and  monitoring  Committee which was said to have reviewed and endorsed it also.

  As a prelude to the WHO Executive  Group endorsement  of the drug,  the US, National Institute of Health , NIH,  had  launched  the much anticipated  Phase IIb clinical trial  to evaluate  ‘’whether the Malaria  drug, Hydroxychloroquine in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin can prevent  hospitalization and death from The dreaded COVID 19 , the disease caused by the novel coronavirus  2019 or SARS-CoV-2’’.

Although, the WHO, had endorsed  the US Hydroxychloroquine drug,  the Chinese  anecdotal reports  and  studies from some other countries ,  suggests  that the drug alone  or in combination  with azithromycin could only  help to reduce  COVID 19  respiratory infections  and lessening the disease severity.

There are  indications  that  patients  receiving both drugs  together  are likely to experience cardiac arrest than those  who  may receive  one  or neither of the therapies. This may have informed why  the the US Drug and Food Administration, FDA, had cautioned  that Hydroxychloroquine drug for treatment of the  COVID 19 should  be  limited for now   to the clinical trials  or treating  certain hospitalized patients under emergency use authorisation for Physicians  to closely monitor the  adverse effects.

Medical experts had  described  the US NIH  hydroxychloroquine clinical  trial, which had been endorsed by the WHO, as  the largest and highest profile at present. The pronouncement by the WHO, the UN , health agency that hydroxychloroquine has been endorsed among all the drugs presented for the clinical trials for the treatment of COVID 19, may have informed why Boss Mustapha, Chairman , Presidential Task Force , PTF, on COVID 19 and Secretary of the Federation, on Monday, May 2, 2020, broke the cheering news to Nigerians.

Chinese Medical Experts In Nigeria Over COVID 19

  Given that the WHO Safety and Monitoring Committee of the clinical trial  are  still evaluating the adverse effects of the drug may have informed why Mustapha, the PTF, Chairman, had warned people’’ to desist from rushing  to buy the drug for self medication’’. He has  every  reason to worry because of the fear that the pandemic might force infected people to rush to buy the US manufactured drug.

At present, the total  number of infected COVID 19, patients in the country had hit 11,516 , going by the Chikwe Ihekweazu, led Nigerian Center for Disease and Control, records. But the total number of patients infected by the disease in  213 countries and two Conveyances, across the world, according to the WHO, reports , has hit 6,698,370 as at 9.49 GMT, on Thursday, June 5, 2020.

In spite of the fact that no drug has been finally approved  for the treatment of the China manufactured disase, the WHO, which had continued to give   country by country daily report of the disease, had confirmed that 3,263,970, persons  had recovered from it , leaving 3,062,688, still in various Isolation centres  in the 213 countries and two Conveyances that had produced the  infected COVID 19 patients. The agency had  reported that 393,537 patients  had so far died of the disease which could have been minimised  if  an effective drug for treatment had been found  between  December 31, 2019, when the strange  disease was reported to the WHO by the Chinese government and now.

Note that scientists and researchers are not sitting idle  as they race to find the drug  or Vaccine for the treatment of the  disease which has infected  millions of people across the world between December  31, 2019 and now.

  One of the drugs that was said to have been tested  on Sunday, May 1,2020,  on the orders of the US,  Food and Drug Administration,FDA, after a government -run clinical trial was the antiviral drug remdesivir. The drug was said to have been administered on a patient   who recovered  from  the COVID 19, after 11 days.

Medical  experts  had expected  the  US health  agency to formally approve the drug for COVID 19 patients treatment, but the agency appear to be dragging . An infectious Disease and Specialist who spoke the Magazine disclosed that even if FAD, finally approve the drug for treatment of the COVID 19, the scientists and researchers  who were instrumental for the development of the drug will need an arsenal of medications to fight these respiratory virus, which they believe could also attack the cardiovascular,nervous, digestive and other major systems of the body.

The US FDA, had  given an insight that the vaccines and drugs for the treatment of the  six- month old disease in the world had been developed  and were at  various stages of clinical trial. Among them are  the mRNA vaccine which  had been linked  to a US Biotech  Company, while the other vaccines modified  adenovirus  had been linked to Johnson and Johnson,  INO-4800, Inovio Pharmaceutical, ChAdOx1nCoV-19, Oxford University, and BNT162 vaccine to the Pharmaceutical giant , Pfizer. Novavax Pharmaceutical Company was said to have been associated with the development of  NVX-CoV2373 vaccine.

Tedros Adhanom: DG, WHO

 The drugs currently under development for the treatment of the pandemic, according  reports released by the US FAD, include remdesivir, produced   at a Gilead Science Facility in La Verne, California, NewYork State and others  produced Hydroxychloroquine, Regeneron and Sanofi  Kevzara drug,  Eli Lilly Baricitinib drug, Eli Lilly, Astra Zeneca and Regeneron antibody treatments drug. This is in addition to the Chinese  Pharmaceutical  company,  Zhejiang Hisum,  Favipiravir .  

The Australian  scientists  and researchers were also  said to be making efforts to join the United States and China, in  testing the endorsed  drugs for the treatment of the  COVID 19. The country was said to have started   the Australasian COVID 19  trial, popular, ASCOT.

 Steven Tong, an Associate Professor, infectious  Disease clinician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, RMH, Australian and Co-lead  of clinical research  Doherty Institute had  revealed that ASCOT is one way of Australian researchers attempting  to see ‘’if the already established treatments might be effective  against COVID 19 which as a new disease has ‘’no current  treatments’’.

He noted that  the aim of ASCOT is ’’to test whether using  lopnavir/ritonavir  and Hydroxychloroquine, considered by the WHO ,will prevent  coronavirus patients deteriorating  to the point of needing Ventilator in the Intensive Healthcare Unit, ICU’’.  The Associate Professor, at the RMH, who is involved in recruiting  2,500 patients  in over 70 Hospitals across the country  and 12 Hospitals in New Zealand, stressed that why the WHO endorsed drugs appears promising, more research are needed to be sure to be sure  that they  are  ‘’safe and effective in  humans’’. 

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