A vaccine against the deadly disease may be ready by early 2021, the head of WHO stated. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, addressed a two-day meeting with its staff and members saying that we would need vaccines to fight against the virus an there is a “hope” that may be developed by the year-end. Well you know what they say, the world runs on hope. Now the people around the world could have a chance of defending themselves against the coronavirus without being too worried about it.
Nine experimental vaccines are currently in pipeline by the WHO-led COVAX vaccine facility that aims to provide nearly 2 billion doses of vaccine by the year-end of 2021. Whereas in India, the Union Health Ministry, said the same thing about the vaccine being ready by the first quarter of 2021. Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan addressed a press conference and said that if all goes according to plan every 1 in 5 Indians will be vaccinated by the year-end of 2021. He further added that there is a digital platform being added to track the real-time basis of vaccine movement, from procurement to storage and distribution as well. Also, the discussion on Russia’s vaccine, Sputnik v is in conversation.
As there is promising work done in India with major companies in the race for developing vaccines we are yet to know which vaccine will be reaching us first. Globally there are seven candidates with the advanced trials for the vaccine.
Which vaccines could be expected at the year-end?
While the vaccine may provide guaranteed results in children and teenagers it is a big gamble to know if it would be that effective to adults as well as senior citizens. Children have strong immunity that is the reason why the majority of people who are infected lie above the age of 60. If the vaccine is well suited by adults then only it would prove promising for others.
While we are at it, Moderna’s novel coronavirus vaccine candidate namely, mRNA-1273 which is currently in phase III of its clinical trials said that the vaccine shot delivered to the older adults was safe and that it could provide sufficient immunity and a well-tolerated response in older adults. Over 40 people participated in the study and almost every individual had surpassed the age of 56. The tested individuals also showed no rise in the side effects.
The reports from phase I of the clinical trials released a report that all the volunteers were able to develop strong antibodies when given the vaccine and the delivery will only be available by the first half of 2021. Moderna is one of the first companies to finish up with the clinical work and many countries have already reserved doses from the same.
Covaxin not so far behind!
Hyderabad-based Bharat biotech started the trials for the vaccine early after the pandemic broke out. The company is currently working on two vaccines, from which covaxin in phase II for the clinical trials. So far the vaccine has been able to provide good immunity to the volunteers and also helped in the formation of antibodies. Researchers are widely active and are also working to use an adjuvant named ‘Alhydroxiquim-II’ developed by Virovax which would help the vaccine to strengthen the immunity response. To those of you who are unable to interpret what an adjuvant is, let us make it simple.
An adjuvant can be treated as a special component used in the development of vaccines to provide long-term effects on the users which may not be achieved by the vaccine alone. Also, phase III of clinical trials for covaxin will begin soon.
Not only covaxin but Bharat biotech is also working in an alliance with the Washington university school of medicine in St. Louis to form a nasal COVID-19 vaccine. This is completely new to the table. Experts suggested that a nasal vaccine may be more effective in tackling the disease as it would directly attack the respiratory tract rather than the classic intravenous way. Though, no dates for clinical trials or anything of that sort have been made. But the production for this medicine will also be handled by Bharat Biotech at its Hyderabad headquarters.
Will Oxford University successfully deliver its first vaccine by the end of the year?
This is a trick question as the Oxford University-AstraZeneca-backed COVID-19 vaccine is in the mid-phase for third clinical trials for the vaccine which was at a long halt due to some complications. News broke out that India is also in the list to reserve doses of this magazine and that the UK government has suggested the vaccine could be available as early as next month or till the time of Christmas in December 2020. This vaccine is being considered as one of the safest for use. The vaccine will be distributed in India under the name of covishield and will cost about 250 per dose as suggested by the serum institute of India.
Russian vaccine sputnik-v ahead of all time!
The Russian vaccine named sputnik-v that is being developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology is the first registered vaccine for COVID-19. Sputnik-v would be available in India, by the pharmaceutical giant Dr. Reddy which has been asked to submit a revised protocol for the Russian vaccine. The company has applied for a clinical nod from DGCI before commencing the trials As for the now, rumors spark that Russia may be developing a second vaccine by the Siberian vector institute and will be ready for launch as soon as possible.
The whole world eagerly waits for the vaccine to come to their rescue. The people are growing impatient with the daily rise of cases and deaths. The companies, as well as research institutes, are in full swing to be the savior to the world but it is becoming a difficult job as little is known about the virus to date and nobody knows what possibly could go wrong.