TUSCARAWAS, Ohio — Dr. Jean Engohang-Ndong is an associate professor of biology at Kent State University.
What You Need To Know
- COVID-19, which is also known as SARS-CoV-2, is the new strain of the coronavirus, while SARS-CoV-1 is not new and scientists have been studying that for years
- Prior research on SARS-CoV-1 helped expedite progress on the COVID-19 vaccine
- The two shots required for the vaccine help the body fight off the virus if exposed
He has been following the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, and said for scientists it came as no surprise it was developed so quickly.
“We have to bear in mind it’s the 21st century,” he said. “This past century has been really marked with the development of a lot of new technologies, including particularly the explosion of molecular biology.”
COVID-19, which is also known as SARS-CoV-2, is the new strain of the coronavirus, while SARS-CoV-1 is not new and scientists have been studying that for years.
“In 2003, when the outbreak occurred, many researchers were actually interested in solving it, at least trying, to understand what is behind the coronavirus infection,” he said.
Dr. Engohang-Ndong explained that even though SARS-CoV-1 went under the radar in the public eye, researchers have been trying to solve the problem for years.
“The vast amount of knowledge that was gathered while studying SARS-CoV-1 made it possible to actually hit the ground running when SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 burst,” he said.
With those in phase 1A gearing up for their second round of shots, Dr. Engohang-Ndong explained the importance of the boost.
“The first shot is really to get your body to be trained to be made aware of the infectious particle, when the infectious particle comes, which we are mimicking with the boost our body is ready to actually provide the most effective response,” he said.
He added that the only way for the country to return to normalcy is for everyone to take the vaccine.
“We don’t have a choice but to embrace the vaccination campaign and it is basically the only way to go,” he said.