5 facts about our progress to finding a coronavirus vaccine

There's a lot of misinformation out there, so here's what we know to be true right now. 👇

5 facts about our progress to finding a coronavirus vaccine

It's been a confusing week. And a hard week. And many people are hoping that a vaccine or medication for COVID-19 will help us get back to normal.

The good news is that vaccines are in development and health officials are investigating the use of a malaria drug called chloroquine to treat the virus. The bad news is that neither are available yet because there is still a lot of work to be done to make them safe.

There is a lot of misinformation out there, but here are five facts you need to know about pharmaceutical advancements in the fight against coronavirus.

1. The FDA clarified President Trump's statement on COVID-19 drug

During a press briefing on Thursday President Trump says that a drug called chloroquine had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use as a COVID-19 treatment and would be available immediately.

"We're going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately—and that's where the FDA has been so great. They've gone through the approval process—it's been approved," he said.

Minutes later FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn clarified that while clinical trials are underway, and while chloroquine was approved decades ago as an anti-malarial treatment it has not yet been approved for fighting COVID-19. "What's also important is not to provide false hope," said Hahn. "We may have the right drug, but it might not be in the appropriate dosage form right now, and it might do more harm than good."

This follows the publication of a new study in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents which suggests a related drug, used in combination with azithromycin (an antibiotic) may be effective in treating COVID-19.

The FDA is working hard investigating the potential of chloroquine and other therapies. Another drug, remdesivir, is used to treat Ebola and is already being used on COVID-19 patients in other countries, but the safety and efficacy are still being determined. The President said Thursday that it will be used in compassionate cases in the U.S., meaning people for whom all other treatments have failed may get this drug before it is more widely available.

2. This week volunteers were injected during the first COVID-19 vaccine trial in the U.S. 

Scientists in labs all over the world are working on vaccinations for coronavirus and this week researchers at Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle injected a volunteer with a vaccine they hope will help America fight the coronavirus.

"We're team coronavirus now," study leader Dr. Lisa Jackson told the Associated Press. "Everyone wants to do what they can in this emergency."

According to Kaiser Permanente, the "vaccine is made using a new process that is much faster than older methods of making vaccines. It does not contain any part of the actual coronavirus and cannot cause infection."

The team is testing the safety of the doses given to volunteers and if these doses produce an immune response. This is just the first phase of the testing and doesn't determine if the vaccine will prevent coronavirus—that part comes later when the researchers move onto phase two.

3. The first American to test the coronavirus vaccine is a mom

The first person to test the vaccine was Jennifer Haller, a mom of two from Seattle.

Haller told the Associated Press her two teens "think it's pretty cool" that she volunteered to get the vaccine. It is cool that this mom made herself a guinea pig because that might help all of us.

"We all feel so helpless. This is an amazing opportunity for me to do something," she explained.

Thanks to Haller and 44 other volunteers a vaccination, made by Moderna, Inc. could be on the way, but that's probably about 12 months away, the scientists note. They need to monitor Haller and the other volunteers to prove the vaccination is safe.

"I'll be keeping a journal of any symptoms and my temperature and everything for the next two weeks," Haler told Refinery29.

"We'll do a phone follow-up today and tomorrow, and then in a week I'll go back in for a blood draw, a week after that I'll go in for another blood draw. And then four weeks from Monday, I'll go in for the second dose [of the vaccine]—and I'll repeat that whole process again. Then throughout the next 14 or 18 months I'll have a handful of visits for blood draws," she explained.

4. There is a race to find a treatment for and an inoculation against coronavirus

As researchers Mariana Mazzucato and Azzi Momenghalibaf recently wrote for the New York Times, "The search for treatments and vaccines to curb transmission of the new coronavirus is in overdrive."

That is absolutely good news.

So is the fact that some lawmakers are fighting to make such treatments affordable, despite Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar's statement the federal government "can't control that price" pharmaceutical companies put coronavirus drugs and vaccines.

But it will take time for vaccines and treatments to become available.

5. Coronavirus vaccines and drugs will not be approved overnight

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn says President Trump's suggestion that the FDA is fast-tracking coronavirus vaccines and drugs is correct, but suggested a vaccine is 12 months away, which is actually quite fast.

"The president is right. This is record time for the development of a vaccine," he said Thursday.

He also said that the president is right about the potential in chloroquine, the drug that was already approved to treat malaria. "The president's right, with an off-the-shelf drug we do have a lot of information about the side effects of the drug. That really helps in terms of expediting," Hahn explained. "I don't want to speculate about a timeline at this point."

14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Detective set

Plan Toys detective set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


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