WASHINGTON, March 27. /TASS/. US specialists’ latest findings indicate that an effective vaccine against the novel coronavirus-related disease can be created, the chairman and executive director of the Russian-American Institute of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, Eugene Vaninov, told TASS on Thursday.
Light at the end of the tunnel?
"It is true that there has emerged light at the end of the tunnel," Vaninov commented on the latest conclusions made by US molecular biologist Peter Thielen at the Applied Physics Laboratory of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. As Thielen said earlier, he and his colleagues were examining more than 1,000 samples of the novel coronavirus.
"These scientists have arrived at the following conclusion: this virus does not mutate. It remains unchanged in hundreds and even thousands of patients. The virus has what may be called a self-regulating mechanism that keeps it constant, in contrast to the flu virus, which mutates permanently," Vaninov said.
"What are the implications of this? Each year a new vaccine must be produced against the flu virus, while a yet-to-be created vaccine against the novel coronavirus will not only make humans immune to this virus, but also ensure this immunity be long enough. Possibly it will last throughout the patient’s lifetime. It will operate in the same fashion as the vaccines against such infectious diseases as measles or chickenpox. Vaccination makes a person protected from this virus for many years," Vaninov stated.
Thielen’s findings mean that the new coronavirus is apparently stable. "Unlike the flu virus, which keeps mutating all the time, this one does not. This is why they [the researchers probing into the properties of the new coronavirus — TASS] are hopeful that a vaccine against it will be effective and work for a long time," Vaninov revealed.
An outbreak of the novel coronavirus-related disease in central China late last year has spread to more than 190 countries. The World Health Organization has declared a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, more than 536,700 people have contracted the virus around the world. The disease has claimed more than 24,100 lives. In Russia, 1,036 patients have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Forty five have recovered and been released from hospital. Three died.