The human immune is generally very good at reacting against some viruses. However, in most situations, the reaction is usually very slow. It can take days, weeks, or months. During this period, the virus could have replicated and caused much havoc within the cells. The excellent thing about the immune system is that once it encounters a pathogen, some cells regarded as “special cells” remember it, and instantly respond whenever there is a subsequent encounter.
Viruses like corona viruses date back to the 1960s. They are positive-sense RNA viruses in the family Coronaviridae. This means they mutate and change often. The additional strain (Covid-19) is a natural mutation of a bat coronavirus. We expect a vaccine for this new strain to roll out worldwide in about 12 months.
For now, we can play our role by following the WHO guidelines which can be summarized into 5 namely:
- HANDS – Wash them often
- ELBOW – Cough into it
- FACE -Don’t touch it
- SPACE – Keep a safe distance
- HOME – Stay if you can
The essence of a vaccine is to train and prime the Human immune system to recognize a virus so that once it encounters it again, it can easily release antibodies and activate the T-cells to destroy it.
The complex process simply explained as:
- Show the immune system a weakened or inactivated germ and give it time to respond.
- The immune system recognizes it for the first time
3 By the second time we encounter it, the virus will be wiped out easily
The only downside is that RNA viruses mutate easily and after a mutation phase, your immune system sees the virus as a new pathogen it has never encountered before.