26th March 2021
Writing: Divit Kelmani (Year 9)
Editing: Anish Vaddiraju (Year 12)
Developing a vaccine or any form of medicine for COVID-19 has been a long and painstaking process but finally, doctors have been able to reliably recommend certain treatments for coronavirus patients. After what seems like an eternity, a light is becoming visible at the end of this long tunnel.
In January 2021, the UK government approved and encouraged the use of drugs tocilizumab and sarilumab to treat coronavirus. These drugs were initially used to treat arthritis. This came from a study based on 800 patients with severe coronavirus symptoms - the death rate of those in standard care was significantly higher than those who were treated with the drugs. It is estimated that the drugs could reduce the total death rate by up to 24% which will massively help curb the effects of the virus.
Vaccines are also a critical new weapon in the battle against the virus, and there are three main types: the Pfizer, Oxford and Moderna vaccines. All of these vaccines require you to take two shots and you are not fully vaccinated until you have received both of them. Not only does the vaccine almost certainly protect you from the worst symptoms of the coronavirus, it also means you reduce the likelihood of spreading it to people around you, due to the reduced symptoms. More people taking the vaccine allows herd immunity to work its magic and, hopefully, put an end to the pandemic that has made us prisoners in our own homes for so long.
The treatment of coronavirus patients has improved significantly, with the development of the vaccines and discovery of efficient medication helping speed this along. Hopefully, this era of fear will come to a close relatively soon so that we can all return to normality.