How Private and Public Institutions Responded to the COVID-19 Virus

 

No one who lived in this timeline would ever forget 2019. The surreal dystopian downfall of the New Year 2020 devastated many lives. Almost two years have gone by yet we still haven’t fully recovered. Many efforts have been exerted from the laboratories to the hospitals and even to the streets.

 

In October 2020, the antiviral medicine deemed effective to combat COVID-19, in the US, was granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for serious hospitalized cases.

 

Veklury, the coveted antiviral medicine, was prescribed to Donald Trump when he became positive of the virus. Since then, orders and purchases for Veklury have ballooned after it has been approved for temporary use against COVID-19 in around 50 countries. It can be used for treatment for adults and children more than 12 years of age and at least weighing 40kg or about 88lbs.

 

The medicine was invented by Gilead. It is a nucleotide analog that is an essential building component of DNA and RNA. It has functions that help improve metabolism, enzyme reactions, and cell signaling.

According to Gilead, Veklury has been proven effective against antiviral activities, during laboratory experiments and animal model experiments. It can combat pathogens such as Ebola, SARS, SARS-CoV-2, MERS, and Marburg.

However, in the same year Veklury was released, questions arose regarding its efficacy upon peer review. This, of course, is a valid inquiry and not an unusual event in the health industry especially when it means life or death.

In November 2020, representatives from World Health Organization (WHO), European Commission, the European Medicines Agency, and Italy’s drugs regulator called AIFA, among others claim Veklury to have no profound effect in combating COVID-19.

According to the European Medicines Agency, Veklury has a potential negative side effect to the kidney. Moreover,  WHO doesn’t recommend Veklury to be given to hospitalized COVID patients. While controversies sprung for Veklury, other vaccines started to bring people hope.

LET’S TAKE A LOOK BACK

       Pfizer and BioNTech

Pfizer and BioNTech announced on November 9, 2020 a 90% efficacy rate of their vaccine after its final trial. This was the biggest breakthrough at the time having produced the first vaccine with the highest efficacy rate. It is no surprise that today, it has been granted full approval for as young five years old to 65 years old.

       Moderna also known as Spikevax or mRNA-1273

Moderna’s vaccine was approved by the FDA on December 18, 2020 the Moderna vaccine was granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). It has a 93.2% rate of preventing COVID-19 illness.

       Sputnik V also known as Gam-Covid-Vac

Sputnik is not available in the US. It is mainly rolled out in Russia since it was developed in the country by Gamaleya Research Institute. It is also rolled out in Brazil and countries in South East and Central Asia. It’s efficacy rate is at 91.6% and has been distributed at around the month of November in 2020.

       AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca vaccine was developed by the University of Oxford and distributed under the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca. It has an efficacy rate of 74% on symptomatic COVID-19 patients. The vaccine was first given an EUA by the United Kingdom and Argentina on December 30, 2020. Today, AstraZeneca is still conducting tests on administering the vaccine to children.

       Johnson and Johnson

J&J has a 74% efficacy rate in the US while it is only 68% effective in Brazil and 64% in South Africa. J&J is the third COVID-19 vaccine approved by the US FDA on February 27,2021 for distribution in the US.

There are many other vaccines that are distributed in other parts of the world. Some research is still ongoing while some have been abandoned. With the rapid mutations of the COVID-19, the world is once more at threat of a time suspension.

 

 

REFERENCE

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html

 

https://www.gilead.com/purpose/advancing-global-health/covid-19

https://stories.gilead.com/articles/four-questions-with-diana-brainard 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/science/coronavirus-vaccine-tracker.html

 

https://biologydictionary.net/nucleotide/

https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-treatment-covid-19

 

 

SOURCES THAT DEBUNKED EFFICACY OF VEKLURY

 

2020

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/29/health/covid-remdesivir-gilead.html

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-remdesivir-gilead-idUSKBN27T13W

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/17/opinion/remdesivir-covid-fda.html

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-remdesivir-who-idUSKBN28000Q

 

2021

 

https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/gilead-s-veklury-shows-no-antiviral-effects-against-covid-19-small-who-study

 

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/strong-covid-19-drug-sales-help-boost-gilead-second-quarter-results-2021-07-29/

 

https://www.acsh.org/news/2021/09/24/remdesivir-back-grave-15826

 

https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/gilead-beats-profit-expectations-covid-19-drug-sales-2021-10-28/

 

https://www.biopharmadive.com/news/gilead-veklury-coronavirus-earnings-oncology-outlook/609160/

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