The researcher believes that the most effective approach in the current circumstances is to manage the disease by carefully monitoring cases of infection, as well as strict isolation measures, which should be introduced whenever the disease starts to spread again.
Regarding the prospects for developing vaccines against COVID-19, Haseltine said: "I would not count on it." The scientist’s skepticism is caused by the fact that all vaccines developed earlier for other types of coronavirus could not protect the nasal mucous membranes, and it is through them that SARS-CoV-2 usually enters the body.
According to the scientist, even in the absence of an effective treatment or vaccine, the virus can be controlled by detecting infections, finding people who have been exposed, and isolating them. It is also important to wear masks, wash hands, clean surfaces and maintain distance. Hazeltine believes that China, South Korea, and Taiwan have successfully used this strategy, while the United States, Russia, and Brazil have lost, being unable to isolate those exposed to the virus.
Patients are now trying to treat them by injecting them with an antibody-rich plasma donated by people who have been ill with COVID-19, and chemists are working to create purified and concentrated versions of this serum. It is such a remedy, hyperimmune globulin, according to Hazeltine, "the first step towards creating real methods of treatment". Studies in the field of monoclonal antibodies, which accumulate and neutralize the ability of the virus to penetrate human cells, also seem promising.