During the 80’s, I was fortunate to have worked at Astra Pharmaceuticals as a Clinical Research Associate (CRA). At that time, a similar crisis caused by a new virus was unfolding in every corner of the world. The first cases of what would later become known as AIDS, were reported in the United States in June of 1981. I was a CRA for four years, but I know that Astra was already testing a new anti-viral medication by then. Today, there are more than 1.1 million people living with HIV and more than 700,000 people with AIDS have died since the beginning of the epidemic as of March 25, 2019.
Today the coronavirus is wreaking similar havoc worldwide, and similarly, many companies in the pharmaceutical industry are investigating new vaccines for COVID 19. For a “deep dive” on the current research, see the following articles:
The coronavirus vaccine frontrunner have emerged. Here’s where they stand
This is how a COVID-19 vaccine could be distributed around the world
On a personal level, I was diagnosed with Shingles last Friday, caused by the chickenpox virus. I was in excruciating pain that forced me to go to the ER. I was quite surprised, having had the vaccine a few years ago. Six days later, I am feeling much better. The anti-viral and pain medications are doing their job and I am grateful to an industry that has provided me, and countless others with relief.
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