Against the current Corona pandemic, we have a powerful tool at our disposal: Highly effective vaccines have been developed in a relatively short time. Another measure in the current pandemic is the development of antiviral medicines. To be well prepared for future pandemics, we also need antiviral agents that can be used broadly and rapidly.
Especially in the case of a pandemic caused by novel viral variants, antiviral therapies could be available as an immediate measure and could bridge the time until more specific drugs or new vaccines are available. Also in low- and middle-income countries with limited resources in the health care systems, widely available antiviral therapies whose active ingredients are administered orally or by inhalation and which have low storage and transport requirements could be of great importance.
A statement by the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina November 2021, "Antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2: Current status and approaches to improve preparedness for future pandemics" addresses the urgent need for research and development of antiviral medicines. The authors, who include Prof. Dr. Christian Drosten from the Institute of Virology at Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, explain what impetus is needed in terms of cooperation and organizational structures in Germany, but also emphasize the relevance of international networking. The Leopoldina statement was translated by the "Pandemic Dialogue", a project led by Charité and funded by the Latin America-Caribbean Initiative of the German Foreign Office in cooperation with GIZ GmbH, and is available here in Portuguese and Spanish.
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