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Is there a coronavirus vaccine?

No, there is no vaccine or antiviral medicine for the coronavirus. Health organizations have not yet found evidence that any medicine can prevent or cure the illness, but the WHO announced on March 18 it was actively working on finding drugs that are approved for other diseases that also could work on those infected with COVID-19. 

The best thing you can do for now is to take preventative measures. Those include practicing social distancing, washing your hands regularly, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. 

Dozens of western and traditional medicines are currently in clinical trials, but none of them have yet been approved. None likely will be available for some time. Experts say it can 12-18 months before a coronavirus vaccine is ready for the general public.

At least one expert is worried, though, about the accelerated timeline of trying to find a vaccine. H. Holden Thorp, the former provost at Washington University and a chemist, wrote in Science Mag that scientists are trying to figure out how to solve the COVID-19 problem while still learning about the problem itself. 

He wrote, “This is not just fixing a plane while it’s flying—it’s fixing a plane that’s flying while its blueprints are still being drawn.”
Sources: World Health Organization, Mayo Clinic, UN News, NBC News, Science Mag


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