COVID -19 has created fear, insecurities, and tension among people in the world. Doctors, health workers, nurses, and other health care staff are putting their own lives down in danger to save people who are transmitted with these deadly viruses. People are praying that vaccines should come soon so as to resume their daily lives as normal as before. People interacting with their relatives and friends over video calls during such crucial times to keep touch are praying for either medicine or a vaccine for Coronavirus. Fewer people contact = less virus to be transmitted is the mantra what Government and health agencies are advocating.
Vaccines are important as it would help people fight by making their immunity strong in the body so that they would not get infected again and would not get sick.
The race to find the vaccine for the new Coronavirus is well underway. The main aim of the Governments and researchers is to provide billions of people with immunity within 18 months or less which is unprecedented. Accelerated clinical trials are underway but it might take a number of years to produce a vaccine.
Currently, numerous companies are working on Coronavirus vaccine development and have joined hands with the foreign endeavor to bring the effective vaccine, and let’s see the result in forthcoming years.
Institutions in the frame for producing Coronavirus vaccine –
- Serum Institute of India- Being from Pune city, proud to say that Serum Institute has joined hands with AstraZeneca to produce the vaccine and sell in enormous quantities to fulfill, the requirement and protecting the people from this deadly viruses through their vaccine. Now the clinical trials are carried out and results will out soon. Their main aim is to come out of vaccine shots by the end of the year 2020.
- Bharat Biotech international limited – Its Hyderabad based Biotech Company. They have collaborated with the Indian Council of Medical Research to develop the COVID-19 vaccine. ‘Covaxin – Vaccine’ name developed by them as the clinical trials started in the month of July 2020.
- Zydus Cadila – This Ahmedabad giant pharmaceutical giant Zydus Cadila is a pioneer at the forefront in building India vaccines for COVID-19. They are working on two approaches – one is building vaccines and also developing drugs to fight the virus.
Other companies are Mynvax, Auro vaccines, and Geneva Biopharmaceutical, and Indian Immunological limited are also in the race for developing vaccines.
It is still very unclear that the Coronavirus vaccine can protect people from these deadly viruses. There is no guarantee that these vaccines will work!
- First and foremost, clinical trials are important which would test the effectiveness of vaccines. But antibodies take time to develop in the system.
- Trials also need to show a vaccine provokes an immune response that protects people from getting sick. Again it depends on the age and how it quickly responds to the body?
- Producing vaccines for mass quantities for billions of potential doses. How will the prioritization be done?? The price would be an important factor.
- Proper regulation and permissions are required beforehand for their use.
- The huge logistical challenge of actually immunizing the majority of the population.
- For testing its effectiveness, infected people are required, but due to certain security measures, it has slightly made the process slow.
- While researching for the COVID-19 vaccine, the scientists were making a dozen treatments that would help and reduce the severity and duration of illness.
- Antiviral drug Remdesivir authorized for emergency use by the FDA. It shows the faster recovery from the virus.
- Another drug that UK media also propagated about and it helped reduce the death rate in severely ill COVID-19 patients. The drug named was called dexamethasone.
- Once available, firstly it will be provided to all the health care workers and staff who have come in contact with and got infected.
- Elderly population because they might need more than one dose depending upon the vaccine response and existing medical conditions.
- Kids should get vaccinated next seeing their immune systems.
- The costing of vaccines would be important as the poor might not be able to afford it and this would lead to inequality.
- Scientists are investigating the risk it poses pertaining to this vaccine and how Coronavirus will behave with this vaccine.
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Recently, the Russian President has announced that they are ready with Coronavirus Vaccine and named it ‘Sputnik V’ associating it with the First Artificial Satellite launched by USSR in 1957. They’re planning to start mass vaccinations by October.
Usually, the vaccine goes through tests in 3 phases.
Phase 1 – Small number of volunteers for tests in safe doses
Phase 2 – More number of people to test for immune response and to check side – effects
Phase 3 – Vaccines actually protect against infections
Vaccines contain Adenoviruses which would ordinarily cause common cold in 2 shots in 21 days apart. These are given as spike protein from Coronavirus SARS Cov 2 and this protein allows this virus to enter human cells.
There are different theories to indicate that this might pose a serious threat to human lives. WHO states that 100 vaccines are in development and many have been shown positive results.
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As per AIIMS director, the vaccine should be available likely by the end of 2020 or 2021 beginning.
Phase 1– Trials will be conducted on 18-55 years of age. The samples will be taken for checking the dosage range and the safety of the vaccine is of utmost importance.
Phase 2 – Second trials will be done on healthy people aged 12-65 years of age. Samples will be checked for an immune response for the vaccine for its efficiency.
Phase 3 – Trial will be done to check the efficacy and effectiveness of the vaccine. More numbers of people may be in the 1000’s to be registered for vaccines. So if everything goes well, the vaccine will be ready by End of 2020 or by next year’s first half.
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