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Corona Virus Vaccine

Hello, Everyone...

India has now jumped onto rank 3 in the world, concerning the total number of corona virus cases. That is, India has seen the most number of corona virus cases after the USA and Brazil. There is no doubt about the fact that there is an urgent need for a vaccine for Corona Virus. The sooner a vaccine is developed, the more people we would be able to save.

But how soon can a vaccine be developed?

Baba Ramdev has already launched his treatment: Coronil- which promises 100% recovery within 7 days. This is what he claims.

A lot of controversies ensued and several questions were raised. An FIR was also lodged against Baba Ramdev regarding this and Coronil has even been banned in some states.

On the other hand, the Indian Council of Medical Research has been hoping that by 15th August,
that is, by our Independence day, India will launch the world's first made in India corona virus vaccine.
Is it realistically possible?

And what is the status of the Corona Virus vaccine in the rest of the countries?

How Do Vaccine Work?

As always, let us begin with the basics first what are vaccines and how do they work?

Vaccines are basically something like a "mock exam"

Before you write the board exams, you first appear for the pre-board
to prepare yourself well for the real board exams, vaccines are these "pre-board" exams

What happens is that when a virus enters your body to infect it, Actually, not a virus, I would use the word "pathogen"

"Pathogen" includes everything- virus, bacteria, protozoa, and all the disease-causing microbes
Normally, when pathogens attack/infect our body, then our immune system responds or immune system has three main jobs

The first is detecting these pathogens
Second- to remove these pathogens from our body and wage a war against them

This is done by the White blood cells within our bodies. You could consider the White blood cells to be the personal army of our body. They fight the pathogen and remove them from the body

And when this happens, then our body starts showing symptoms.

For example, fever, cough, and cold.

All these symptoms show that our body is fighting against this virus and is removing it from the body
that it is trying to remove the pathogen from our body.

White blood cells release antibodies against the pathogens to do this. The third job of the immune system is to memorize.

That is, to remember how to react and fight against a pathogen that it has already encountered once. Vaccines prepare our bodies beforehand, just like a mock exam.

It helps the body in recognizing the pathogen and in creating a memory of how to fight it and remove it from the body

So that when that pathogen actually enters the body, then our body is already prepared to fight it and there is already a stored memory of how to generate an antibody against it and remove it from the body.

So that our immune system can fight the pathogen more effectively and within a shorter period due to vaccines.

Now, you could ask what is it in the vaccines that it prepares our body to fight?

The answer to this is quite simple. Very often, the pathogen itself is present in the vaccine, albeit in different states. In some vaccines, the pathogen is killed and its dead body is present in it.

Sometimes, the pathogen is weakened and is present in the vaccine.
Sometimes, the pathogen is cut into fragments and some of its parts are present inside the vaccine.

So, there are different kinds of vaccines that can be made and each of them has its own pros and cons.
If the vaccine is developed by weakening the pathogen, without killing it entirely, then this type of vaccine is called "live attenuated vaccine".

This type of vaccine is used against diseases like smallpox and chickenpox. Its pros include the fact that it is extremely effective. Its cons include the fact that it takes a very long time to develop.

On the other hand, if a vaccine is developed by killing a pathogen and by using its dead body, then this type of vaccine is called "inactivated vaccine".

This type of vaccine is used against flu, polio, and rabies. Its disadvantage is that it does not provide a very strong, long-lasting immunity

Their doses need to be repeated.

For example, if you were administered the polio vaccine, then it would have been repeated year after year. This is its disadvantage.

The third type of vaccine makes use of the different fragments of the pathogen. This type of vaccine is called a "subunit vaccine". which is used in the vaccines against Hepatitis B and HBV vaccines.

These are the three general categories of vaccines. There are even more types of vaccines. All I'm trying to do here is to provide you with a general overview.

There have been very few human achievements or technology that has saved human lives in the numbers that vaccines have.

It's hard to believe, but around 250 years ago, in the 1700s, before the invention of vaccines, the child mortality rate of children under 5 years was around 40-50%. That is, 200 years ago, if a woman gave birth to a child, then there would be a 50% chance that the child would die before it reached the age of 5.

This rate of child mortality has fallen below even 1% in developed countries today. So you can imagine the number of lives that have been saved due to these vaccines.

Time Taken To Make a Vaccine

So, now a question arises- How long does it take to develop a vaccine?

The answer to this is that it normally takes around 10 years. But the speed with which work has been progressing on the Corona Virus
 vaccine, experts say that keeping this speed in mind, the vaccine might be developed within one to one and a half years.

The fastest vaccine to have ever been made was that of mumps which took around 5 years to develop.

On the other hand, there is an HIV vaccine, which has not been developed until now. It is being predicted that it would be ready by 2030. It would have taken 50 years to develop if it is ready by 2030!. This is how long it can take to develop vaccines.

There are three main stages in the preparation of a vaccine. The first is the research stage where the scientist's research to find out the different ways in which the vaccine could be developed Should they develop a live attenuated vaccine or something else?

Which option is safer, which is not?- All of this is researched upon the second stage is the testing stage where the effectiveness and the safety of the vaccine chosen are tested Within the testing stage, there are different stages- The first is pre-clinical trials.

These are those trials where testing is done on cells within a laboratory or on animals. The vaccine is tested on animals first to see whether the vaccine is effective and safe or not.

Following this, testing on humans commences. These tests are called clinical trials. There are four different phases in the clinical trials. Very few people are tested upon in the first phase to test its effectiveness and safeness.

In the second phase, a few hundred people are tested upon for a few months. To study the dosage that needs to be administered and what the intensity of the vaccine is against the pathogen.

In the third phase, it is tested upon thousands of people and then measure the safety it provides on a large scale and whether there are any side effects of the vaccine or not.

The third phase can take years because the testing needs to be done for a long period.

If the vaccine is administered today and it is observed that it is working very effectively in the short term, but it could so happen that the administration of the vaccine might lead to very harmful effects one year later.

What would happen then?

This is why it needs to be tested for a long time. The side effects need to be monitored in the long term. It is sent for approval in phase 4.

The government will provide a license and you will be allowed to manufacture the vaccine and then sell it to the people because it turned out to be effective.

Then comes the manufacturing stage.

The approval has been granted and now factories need to be set up to produce the vaccine on a mass scale and to deliver it to as many people as soon as possible. This stage is not easy either. Because a lot of capital is required to set up a factory And the procedure to manufacture vaccines in the factories is different for different vaccines And since there are so many different types of vaccines and since it takes so long to manufacture them.

So the best way out is that research is conducted in different labs and universities by different companies. They all should develop the vaccine at their own pace and conduct their own tests So that whosoever emerges out in the front later with the most successful testings comes up with an authentic vaccine.

Status Of Corona Virus Vaccine

Let us now talk about the status of the Corona Virus Vaccine.

Right now, there are approximately 100 vaccines under development across the world which are in the pre-clinical stage. The World Health Organization has been tracking around 70 of these vaccines.

The current status is that presently, there are 17 potential vaccines in the clinical trials stage across the world in ten different countries and there is at least 1 vaccine that is already being used by the Chinese military in a limited manner.

Now. I'd like to talk about some top potential vaccines on a country by country basis which are leading in the race to develop a vaccine. Four potential candidates in the USA are under development and the vaccine produced by the Moderna company is first in the race.

They had begun with their human trials back in March and they were planning to start phase 3 of their clinical trials Around 30,000 people would be tested upon in Phase 3 but as per the latest news, their phase 3 trials have been slightly delayed.

A vaccine is being developed in Germany by the Pfizer and BioNTech company. They conducted a clinical trial on 45 people and they found that when a 100-gram dose of their vaccine was being administered to patients, 50% of patients out of those experienced fever and sleep disturbances as a side effect. Although none of these side effects was life-threatening

How when trials are conducted upon patients, then it is found out. what the side effects of administering the vaccine are and how they can be reduced and what should be changed.

They are also planning their Phase 3 clinical trials by the end of July which will be conducted on around 30,000 people. This normally takes up to five years, but experts believe that if this process is sped up, by taking faster approvals, then it can be completed within one year.

Oxford University in the UK is developing a vaccine and most of the experts think that today, at present, the vaccine being developed by Oxford University is leading in the race to produce a vaccine.

Their phase 2 trials have already been completed. They started their phase 3 trials on 20th June in Brazil in which they are testing it on 5,000 people. They believe that by the end of August they'd be able to say whether this vaccine will be successful or not.

It is indeed successful, then by the beginning of 2021, it would become available in the markets.


Talking of India, there is a vaccine named "Covaxin" which has been a beacon of hope. It is being manufactured by a company called the Bharat Biotech, which is based in Hyderabad.

They already have been granted the approval to start with their human trials And it is expected that they will start with their phase 1 and phase 2 trials this week itself.

This testing will be carried out on around 1,000 people in Hyderabad But to say that this vaccine will be ready by 15th August is an extremely unrealistic expectation.

Compare it with the rest of the countries,

phase 1 and phase 2 trials have been completed in some countries and quite some time ago in others and phase 3 trials are set to begin. So, how can they begin as well as conclude all the three trials within one month in India?

Even if they ignore the phase 3 trials and say that they will only carry out trials in two phases even that would take a period of a few months.

A letter of the Indian Council of Medical research has surfaced which states that "it is envisaged to launch the vaccine for public health uses the latest by August 15th, 2020.".

The same letter reads that this is the first indigenous vaccine being developed by India and is one of the top priority projects which is being monitored at the topmost level of the government.

This raises the question of whether the pressure is being mounted on the companies and the scientists to fast forward their clinical trials so that it can launch this vaccine on Independence day to show off that India launched this vaccine for the world on its Independence day.

This question does not sound that unbelievable.

because such marketing stunts have been employed by the government in the past, For example, the 20 lakh crore budget released at 20:20 in the year 2020 in an attempt to align all these numbers.

So this could be an attempt to say that they would give the country independence from corona on Independence day. It is important to give science more priority that these marketing stunts.

What use would it be to launch a vaccine which has not been properly tested?

Even if we launch a vaccine without properly conducting clinical trials if it is used and it is later found out that is causes certain negative effects in the long term,

What would happen then? Who would shoulder the blame?

Sufficient time and testing are extremely necessary for the vaccine or else.it might have side effects that could be harmful to the health of the people.

As for Patanjali, the less I talk about it, the better it is

The clinical trials that it claimed to have conducted to show its 100% recovery rate,

the shortcomings, mistakes, and the things that they have concealed in these clinical trials.

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