Infectious Disease Researchers give insight into COVID-19, vaccines

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Thursday night, the State College children’s museum, Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania, held their “Nights to Discover” with world renowned infectious disease researchers, Dr. David Ho, from Columbia University and Dr. Peter Hudson, from Penn State.

The doctors were asked different questions from the public, about the COVID-19 virus, like how research from HIV is similar to the coronavirus.

Dr. Ho said both diseases started from animals and both can be silent-without the patient knowing they have it.

The medication used against HIV is helping doctors with the fight against COVID.

“HIV research has been quite remarkable in developing about 30 anti-retro viral drugs, that are now controlling patients, and that forms a very strong foundation now for developing drugs against COVID-19,” Dr. Ho, said.

Both HIV and covid-19 come from wild animals. Dr. Hudson says wet markets, or markets that sell fresh meat or fish are important, but they should not sell wild game animal meat.


“We must stop the consumption of wild animals, if we’re going to stop this taking place,” Dr. Hudson, said. “So, we should make sure that there are not wild animals in the wet market.”

Dr. Ho says researchers are working on more than 200 vaccines right now.

Fifty of them are in clinical trials.

“Nine of them in particular are already in late phase efficacy, clinical trials, and these involve also the different strategies, nucleic acid vaccines, viral vector vaccines, viral protein vaccines,” Dr. Ho, said.

He says right now, none of them are more favorable than the other.

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