TreatmentsA Guide to the Vaccines and Drugs that Could Fight Coronavirus

Published 27 March 2020

The global race to make a vaccine and treatment for the Covid-19 coronavirus is well underway as the epicenter of the pandemic is now shifting toward the United States.
The virus has already shown it has the potential to kill — particularly vulnerable groups, like older adults and people with underlying health conditions. But people of all ages are at risk of severe illness and death.
Julia Belluz, Umair Irfan, and Brian Resnick write in Vox that the virus is also highly contagious. And there’s a lot we don’t know about it since it was only discovered mere months ago. For these reasons, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global public health emergency back in January (and later said it had become a pandemic).
“As this new virus makes its way around the globe, the public health tools we have to control its spread are blunt, often not implemented correctly or fast enough,” they write. “They’re already having big economic and social side effects. Health officials are relying on tactics like quarantines and social distancing while hospitals (which fear equipment shortages) are using oxygen and fever reducers, like ibuprofen, to treat people.”
The good news is that the world is in better shape to come up with a medical solution — a coronavirus drug or vaccine — than it’s ever been. “Within a couple of weeks of discovering the outbreak, Chinese scientists sequenced the virus’s genome and shared it with the world. The structure of the virus was revealed shortly thereafter. These developments now hold the key to creating what could end this outbreak for good: vaccines and pharmaceutical treatments.”