Study Suggests Link Between Sleep Supplement and COVID-19
A study published in the journal Cell Discovery back in March initially suggested that melatonin – and repurposing existing medicines in general – may be the key to regulating COVID-19 within the body. Now, one of the study’s authors has found that other researchers around the globe have come up with similar theories, according to The Atlantic.
Feixiong Cheng, who published the initial research at the beginning of the outbreak, heard from other scientists that there might be something to his hunch. They all noted that, in addition to melatonin’s effects on sleep, it plays a critical role in calibrating the immune system. Its role as a moderator may lead to it one day protecting the body from going haywire when exposed to disease.
A study published as recently as November took a closer look at the theory. People who took melatonin seemed to have significantly lower odds of developing COVID-19, and other researchers started to notice a pattern. At the moment, eight clinical trials are currently being carried out to determine if the link between melatonin and the novel coronavirus is legitimate.
If it turns out that melatonin is beneficial, it would already be widely available in the U.S. as an over-the-counter dietary supplement, and people could begin taking it as soon as possible. However, Cheng does not recommend this route, acknowledging that this could simply be a spurious correlation.
At the moment, there is still no cure for the novel coronavirus that caused the pandemic of 2020. However, there are two vaccines that have been authorized in the U.S. for emergency use: one from Moderna, and one from Pfizer and BioNTech. Both vaccines require two doses, according to USA Today.
Each of the vaccines targets the “spike protein” found on the surface of the virus that causes the illness. This typically allows the virus to attach itself to host cells and infect them. The vaccines work by presenting this spike protein to the immune system.
States are expected to handle their immunization initiatives differently, according to CNN. Several factors are expected to come into play, including individual health, employment and location of residence. Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, told the news source that it’s important for people to remain patient as inoculation efforts roll out across the country.
Ultimately, this means that people need to continue wearing masks, socially distance and avoid large gatherings until the general population has received the vaccine. Healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities are expected to receive the vaccines first, followed by adults aged 75 and older, and frontline essential workers.
Dr. Vivek Murthy, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for surgeon general, believes that it may take until late spring to finish vaccinating the higher-risk population. For this reason, it may not be until mid-summer that public vaccinations begin.
States are expected to give their own guidance in terms of where they send the vaccines and who receives it first. Because there are a number of variables that come into play, the rollout timeline is difficult to nail down.
According to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll, 46% of Americans say they will receive the vaccine as soon as they can. This is almost double the percentage that said they were ready to get the shot back in October, leading many to believe that vaccine acceptance is becoming more prominent.
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