A fight against the global Coronavirus Pandemic continues today with most of us looking for a Coronavirus vaccine.
Coronavirus has affected millions and has led to more than 1 lakh 30 thousand deaths worldwide.
Although people are recovering, fresh cases are emerging in thousands daily.
The world is crippled in fear and is suffering from a lack of preparedness and basic health infrastructure.
As governments around the world are crumbling and looking for ways to limit and control the virus, even at their peak effectiveness, containment strategies have only slowed the spread of COVID-19.
No drug has made any significant difference, and now all eyes have turned to the prospect of a Coronavirus Vaccine because the only way to confirm the safety of the people is to vaccinate them and making them immune to the virus itself.
About 35 companies and academic institutions are researching to make a coronavirus vaccine, at least 4 of which have already been testing it on animals.
The first of these produced by a Bio-technology firm “Moderna” will enter human trials imminently.
How do Vaccines Work? And how will a Vaccine save us?
All vaccines work on the same basic principle; they present a part or all of the pathogens to the human immune system at a low dose.
The immune system studies it and produces unique anti-bodies to kill the pathogen.
There are many ways, how vaccines are produced, but the principle is the same.
The immune system should recognize the vaccine and respond by making anti-bodies, this is known as the immune response.
Immune responses can be generated by various means,
Traditionally, a small dose of a weak form of virus inactivated by heat or chemicals is injected into the body and the immune system responds by producing antibodies against this pathogen. however, this is a crude form of immunization.
Newer methods are more targeted and specific, these are GENE RECOMBINANT VACCINE.
The word itself means taking the genes and combining them for a specific use. In these, the information within the gene of the virus studies.
That is, we understand what makes a virus lethal on a genetic level, and then we use this information to create a similar effect in humans without actually exposing the human to the virus itself.
Is there any Coronavirus Vaccine from the past?
Coronavirus has caused to two recent epidemics,
- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which took place in 2004 in China,
- Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which started in Saudi Arabia in 2012
This new coronavirus COVID-19 shares around 80-90% similarity to the SARS virus of 2003,
Hence, some experts are also calling this virus as SARS-COVID 2
In both cases, work has begun on vaccines, one company Maryland based NOVAVAX has now repurposed those vaccines for SARS-COVID 2 and according to NOVAVAX, human trials will begin soon.
How soon will the coronavirus vaccines be available?
Researchers worldwide are working overtime to develop experimental but potentially lifesaving vaccines, this is a great sign for the world.
But as Bruce Gellin from SABIN Vaccine Institute says,
“Not all horses that leave the starting gate will finish the race, while there is a push to do things as far as possible, it’s really important not to take shortcuts”
What he is referring to is the most crucial fact in coronavirus vaccine making.
Which are the clinical trials?
Simply said, the goal of a clinical trial is to learn whether the vaccine will work or not called EFFICACY, and to learn whether the vaccine is safe, called SAFETY.
Clinical trials usually take place in 3 phases,
The first phase involves a few dozen healthy volunteers, and the vaccine is being tested for the safety and monitoring of adverse effects.
The second phase involves several hundred people usually in a part of the world affected by the disease, looks at how effective the vaccine is.
The third phase does the same practice in several thousand people.
How soon the coronavirus vaccine will be available?
Well, that’s a million-dollar question, President Trump at a meeting at the white house on 2nd March, announced for a vaccine to be ready by the US elections in November 2020.
This has led to widespread confusions among the people all over the world, because many scientists and vaccine experts like ANNELIES WILDER SMITH, who is a professor of infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, stated that,
”I don’t think this coronavirus Vaccine will be ready before 18 months”
And this figure of 18 months is based on the Promise that there will be no problems encountered in the process.
She also says, that
“The pandemic will probably have peaked and declined before a coronavirus vaccine became available”
A vaccine could still save many lives especially if the virus has possible seasonal outbreaks.
Although many people are blaming China for this global crisis, it is important to know that it was the early effort by Chinese researchers that has led to a quick response by the vaccine manufacturers worldwide.
The Chinese studied the virus looked at its unique genetic code and uploaded the data in early January 2020, so that researchers worldwide can use that data to study the virus independently in hopes to find a cure and possibly a coronavirus vaccine.
This was all about the coronavirus vaccine research going on all over the world.
I hope you got to know some very interesting facts about the coronavirus vaccine and related research.
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