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Two Coronavirus Vaccines Prove Effective in Human Trials

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Recently, two coronavirus vaccines have proven effective in triggering an immune response in humans. According to the doctors, both drugs led to a similar response as the actual virus.

History

Coronavirus cases have been increasing ever since the virus’s outbreak in Wuhan, China last year. The novel virus belongs to the SARS family and was said to have spread from bats to humans. Soon after the outbreak, it became a global pandemic effecting a large number of countries across the globe.

The governments pushed majority of the nations into lockdown and implemented strict precautionary measures to control the spread of the disease. This adversely affected the world’s economy even causing the oil market to crash.

Various scientists and research groups have been actively working to find a treatment plan for the infection. Numerous attempts have also been made for developing a vaccine. Although, a number of potential candidates are in the human trial phases, FDA has not approved any of them yet. Researchers believe it will take a few more months for the vaccine to be available in the market.

Also read: Spain Orders Killing of 100,000 Minks After They Contract Coronavirus

Vaccine Trials

Recently two human trials testing different vaccines have produced a fruitful outcome. Both drugs were able to trigger an immune response similar to the actual virus in humans. The results showed that antibodies and white blood cell production in the body significantly increased to fight off the foreign bodies.

Source: Al-Jazeera

The human trial for the first vaccine was held in Britain. It involved over thousand adult subjects who were given a shot of the vaccine and the results were analyzed. The findings showed that the developed drug was able to induce a T white blood cell immune response. It also led to the production of strong antibodies in the body.

The second trial was held in China and involved around five hundred people. Like the trial in Britain, the Chinese study subjects were also given a dose of the vaccine. The results showed a powerful immune response in all of the volunteers.The findings from both studies were published in a science journal called The Lancet medical journal.

Future Implications of the Studies

Even if the vaccines do not prove effective in the more advanced phases, the research can prove to be an effective and important stepping stone for the ultimate development of the vaccine for the novel corona virus. Future research can work on, and improve the methods employed by the current studies to increase the probability of success in the vaccine development endeavors.

Also read: Moderna Produces a Safe and Effective Vaccine for Coronavirus

The lead authors of both studies stated that there were very few negative side effects observed in the subjects. They further added that the research is promising. However, more work needs to be done before the vaccine can be made available to the public. Particularly, the drugs need to be modified in order to reduce the intensity of their side effects in older people, who are more likely to die from the coronavirus infection.

Sarah Gilbert a co author of the study from the university of oxford said that if approved by the FDA, the vaccine can be easily produced on a large scale, given the procedure the development process follows.

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Cannabis

Medical Marijuana Leads to Poisoning in Kids

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Medical Marijuana

The Bottom Line

Giving medical marijuana to patients suffering from HIV or AIDS, seizure disorders, and in case of chronic pain is trending. In addition to this, it is given to patients suffering from severe nausea. Also, it is proven beneficial for patients who lose their appetite for treatment such as chemotherapy. The chemical inside medical marijuana is active compared to the marijuana plant.
There had been several issues getting under the light once the news of cannabis legalization came into existence. This has for sure brought smiles to millions of faces. Proper laws and decrees have been passed for the possession, cultivation, and growing of marijuana but what is the major concern right now is that there are no laws for the child safe storage of medical marijuana products.

ALSO READ: Medical marijuana to reduce pain and improve workforce in older Americans

The Complete Story

After the Democrats winning the position they have pushed a way forward to the matter of legalization of medical marijuana in the States. Although there are many states in America where it has been legalized but the debate is still in the air about other states.
Dated, 14th January many states have made it legal in the District of Columbia. There are specific medical conditions allowing patients to use medical marijuana legally. Examples of such conditions include patients with cancer, AIDS, and severe nausea. Also, patients suffering from seizure disorders and high-intensity pain can legally use medical marijuana. However, the Federal Government doesn’t take any legal action against people holding it but it still is illegal under federal law.

What’s Next

Now coming to the major concern legal or illegal, if you have marijuana in your household, it is accessible to small children. The recent study suggests that children swallowing marijuana are serious and need hospitals to save their lives. As medical marijuana has a high intensity of an active chemical termed tetrahydrocannabinol– abbreviated as THC compared to marijuana plant or dried marijuana.

Reports by researchers in Colorado

Kids are curious and they have a habit of imitating adults. There is a very high chance of bad news if you don’t take the proper precautions of keeping medical marijuana at your homes. Cookies, brownies, and candies contain medical marijuana. Such items usually don’t have any warning labels that would at least remind the adults to keep such things out of reach. Researchers in Colorado have recently reported an increase in the number of cases after swallowing its products. The children’s ages vary from 8 months to12 years old. After these cases, evaluations suggested that medical marijuana cakes, brownies, and candies belonged to the grandparents, parents, friends, or baby sitters coming to their places.

Symptoms in Children

The most common and noticeable symptoms that left the parents suspicious were excessive sleeping, lightheadedness, and having trouble maintaining balance. Yet, some children faced breathing issues-leaving them with low oxygen saturation. Fortunately, enough none of such cases expired and they recovered without the persistence of any health issues.
The most common symptoms were excessive sleepiness, lightheadedness, and trouble walking. However, a few became too sleepy and their breathing slowed down. That could mean the child doesn’t get enough oxygen. Fortunately, none of these children died. They all recovered without permanent health problems.

ALSO READ: Two Faces of Marijuana

The True Story

This happened which warned the parents in the state to take special care of their children. As at this particular time there are no regulations for child-resistant packaging of medical marijuana products.
Report says that a 3-year-old child ate a cookie made with his grandfather’s medical marijuana. The trouble for the family came into notice When the child became very sleepy rushing to an emergency room was the only option. Several blood tests and medical procedures as per the protocols took place but the urine sample declared the presence of marijuana. The child was admitted to ICU for further treatment and procedures.

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General News

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Provides 90% Protection: A Potential End to the Pandemic

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Pfizer

Researchers are constantly trying to invent a COVID-19 vaccine to end and control this global crisis. While many have declared expected release dates, an interim analysis has reported that a candidate from Pfizer/BioNTech showed 90% effectiveness in the protection of individuals from the COVID-19. The vaccine showed much more hope than researchers had expected in view of the companies’ analysis. Moreover, it also shows us the potential end of a pandemic which caused a global lockdown and economic shutdown.

An interim analysis provided data where the trial is to continue until the end of this year. Regulators are awaiting the vaccine and will soon begin the processing of the emergency license application promptly. Oxford University’s professor of medicine, John Bell, also a part of the research with the Oxford vaccine, praised the Pfizer team’s level of efficacy. Bell hopes for normalcy to return and prevail as he tells BBC confidently.

The manufacturing process has already begun. According to a tweet by The Hill, Pfizer CEO Alert Bourla reveals the expected global supply.

Accessibility

The joint committee in the UK, on immunization and vaccination, made some recommendations. Considering the success of the vaccines for senior citizens, the first recommended dose should be given to residents and home workers. The following recipients should be any citizen over the age of 80, and social care and health care workers. After that, the recipients will be in decreasing order of age.

The news, however, was a bit late to aid Donald Trump in the recent US elections. Although, Mike Pence, vice president, attempted to claim the Operation Warp Speed programme of their administration which aided the development of the vaccine. Ultimately, Pfizer denied the offer.

Senior Vice-president and the head of the research and development of vaccine at Pfizer denied all claims in an interview. Kathrin Jansen denied receiving any money from anyone, including the US government.

Safety

Currently, no such safety concerns regarding the vaccine stand out. Both companies have reported no severe side-effects. Moreover, the incredibly high percentage of protection, makes the vaccine even more compelling. Furthermore, regulators had previously stated the approval of a vaccine with a 50% rate.

Chairman rejoices the accomplishment and explains the primary set of results achieved from the 3rd phase of their trial. The results provide evidence regarding the ability of the vaccine to provide maximum protection against the deadly virus. With the increasing infection rates, economic shutdown,  and nearing collapse of the healthcare industry, it is a critical achievement.

Despite the evident excitement, many researchers are still trying to stay grounded and are waiting for the final data. However, these results will be ready after the ongoing trial has reached its completion. Over 43,000 individuals have involved in the phase 3 trials. Volunteers were given either the

  • placebo alternative like meningitis vaccine or
  • the vaccine, administered in 2 shots with a period of 3 weeks

The doctors were also unaware of the specific recipients of the placebo alternatives, to increase the reliability of the results.

It is a global achievement. As several countries rejoice, many have placed their orders for the Pfizer/BoNTech vaccine. The UK has secured 40m doses which will be able to treat 20 million citizens (the required dosage is 2 shots). Meanwhile, the EU bought 200m doses for distribution. Furthermore, the companies have also signed a $1.95bn contract with the US government, to safely deliver 100m vaccine doses at the beginning of 2021. Here’s to hoping that this global pandemic finally ends at the end of 2020.

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Cannabis

CBD May Potentially Help Fight Lung Damage Caused by COVID-19

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Studies are showing that cannabis derivatives including CBD can be helpful in fighting coronavirus symptoms

To help their patients recoil from the distress caused by COVID-19, medical experts are experimenting with anything that feels even slightly applicable as a workable remedy. With this intention, many of them are now assessing the effectiveness of CBD for treating COVID-19 symptoms.

According to recent studies, CBD can help reduce respiratory distress, immunity responses, and other symptoms in COVID-19 patients. In the studies, CBD not only reversed clinical symptoms but also improved physical damages endured by the organs during infection.

Most of the experts relate this ability of CBD with its resemblance to the cannabinoids present in the body. Since cannabinoids are an essential part of the endocannabinoid system, CBD’s role in reducing infection symptoms might have relevant explanations.

COVID-19 and its impact on the lungs: ARDS and Cykotine storm 

Although symptoms of COVID-19 vary greatly between individuals, all experts agree that it is a respiratory infection. It causes severe damages to the airways of patients leading to difficulty in breathing, and pneumonia in patients. Although artificial ventilators might help, a majority of patients in advanced stages of infection do no survive.

The structural makeup of coronavirus makes it excessively easy for it to break into human cells. The ‘spikes’ protruding on its surface not only distinguish it from other viruses. In addition to this, they also help it to break through the protective protein gates that surround our body’s cells. These protective gates are called ACE2 receptors and play a very vital role in controlling inflammation and blood pressure in the body.

According to experts, COVID-19 binds to the ACE2 receptors, upsetting their primary roles. “Instead of ACE2 helping blood vessels relax, it helps the virus get into the host where it makes more viruses instead of helping the lungs relax and do their job,” says Dr. Jack Yu from MCG. 

One organ that gets seriously affected in this myriad of infectious attacks is our lungs. 

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome or ARDS is a very common yet serious complication that launches full-blown cytokine storms in the most vulnerable coronavirus victims. This is an aggressive response of the body that causes the immune system to release a large amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The result of this is acute lung injury and a low oxygen saturation level in patients. According to a 2020 study from the National Institutes of Health, the average mortality rate of ARDS is 43%. 

How can CBD help combat lung damage caused by COVID-19?

The task at hand for researchers is to find an effective cure for the symptoms of COVID-19 alongside their quest of developing a fecund vaccine.

As a means to address this issue, scientists from the Dental College of Georgia and the Medical College of Georgia have uncovered how CBD helps to reduce inflammations in the lungs brought about by COVID-19.

The team created a lung model that duplicated the damages caused by COVID-19 and other viruses on the lungs. The model included mice with classic symptoms of ARDS, including an over-responsive immune system. 

They found that the major role played by CBD in the study was the regulation of apelin levels. Apelin is a natural peptide that is made by blood cells, lungs, brain, heart, and fat tissue in the body. It regulates blood pressure and plays a vital role in bringing down the inflammation.

In patients suffering from ARDS, the levels of peptide fell to zero but increased by about 20 times with CBD. Furthermore, CBD also helped to normalize the oxygen levels, swelling, immune responses as well as scarring on the lungs caused by ARDS.

In yet another study conducted by Israeli scientists, a new therapy using CBD-loaded exosomes was considered to treat COVID-19 patients. The reason for this being that CBD-Loaded exosomes could potentially have a synergistic anti-inflammatory. This could help it in reducing damaged organs, especially the lungs of coronavirus patients.

Furthermore, another component of the cannabis plant known as THC has also shown some promising results for reducing virus symptoms. Mice studied in three separate studies showed 100% survival rates when THC was given to them for infection symptoms. While these lab results do not fully reflect real-life results for humans, researchers are truly amazed at the effectiveness of THC for ARDS.

 

 

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