COVID-19: Shortage Of Monkeys May Slow Down Vaccine Development - Research

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A shortage in the supply of monkeys may slow down the development of COVID-19 vaccines that are still in the early stages of development in the United States. This scarcity could be a major obstacle to the vaccine moving to the next stage. The scarcity of the primates in the country was revealed by The Atlantic magazine on Monday, August, 31. Scientists in the United States are particularly worried, with around 35,000 monkeys used in experiments there every year.

The shortage in supplies is large because most primates are exported from China, which was the largest supplier to researchers in the American market, but this has been affected by restrictions associated with COVID-19. The Asian country has stopped sending them, both because of the blockages to this type of trade and the needs of local scientists.

In this way, laboratories that are looking for monkeys to carry out immunization tests have obtained a "no" answer, needing to postpone work or look for alternatives. This happens, for example, at the California National Primate Research Center, one of the institutions responsible for supplying the animals.

The huge demand for monkeys by companies that are developing vaccines against the new coronavirus is due to the fact that they have an immune system quite similar to that of humans. Therefore, clinical tests on people are released only after confirmation that immunization is safe for primates.

With their dearth, some laboratories have selected to skip testing on animals and apply the substance directly to humans, while others invest in the use of hamsters, provisionally.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday night, confirmed 216 new cases from 16 states.

There are Plateau (59), Rivers (27), Abia (22), Lagos (20), Oyo (18), Enugu (17), Kaduna (11), FCT (11), Ogun (10), Ebonyi (4), Osun (4), Ekiti (4), Delta (3), Akwa Ibom (2) and Bauchi (1).