Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, this virus has affected the lives of more than two and a half million people while taking the lives of around two hundred thousand humans around the world. According to the coronavirus tracker in India, there are more than 20,000 active cases until now.
Although social distancing and lockdown is the best thing to do right now, these things can still not eradicate the virus out of the world. For that, we need a vaccine. Here is what scientists around the world are trying to create a vaccine against the Sars-Cov-19.
The leading manufacturers
International pharma companies like Moderna, Gilead Sciences, Pfizer, etc. are participating in vaccine development. Johnsons & Johnsons is using its “adenovirus platform” to develop a vaccine. Several institutions like Zydus Cadila, Serum Institute, Biological E, Bharat Biotech, Indian Immunologicals, and My Nvax are researching to create a coronavirus vaccine in India.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) is an international organization that is responsible for creating vaccines against emerging infections. CEPI is offering financial support to several institutions like the University of Queensland, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., etc. for the development of a vaccine.
What are the scientists doing?
A vaccine is a biological composition that contains dead or weakened microbes that cannot cause a full-blown infection but are just enough to trigger our immune system. A triggered immunity produces antibodies against that particular microbe. It creates a memory of that germ so that when it actually invades and attacks our body through any means, our body can quickly recognize it and create an army of antibodies to kill that microbe.
Scientists are working on this principle and a similar approach of ‘plug and play’ vaccine, where they create a faux microbe body using the blueprint of its structure and its genetic material.
How far have we come?
The entire world has come together, and research is happening rapidly. The prime minister of India has recently had a conversation with the prime minister of the state of Kuwait, where they both have agreed upon collaboration for fighting against the virus by improving the availability of pharmaceutical necessities.
The Oxford University in the United Kingdom has prepared a potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus. According to the health secretary at Matt Hancock, a team of 510 healthy volunteers has already been created for the human trials of this vaccine, which will begin on 23rd April. If you wish to check coronavirus death count state and district wise and coronavirus live update India, you can visit the official websites of the Indian government.
What are the challenges?
As the coronavirus keeps on spreading rampantly and affecting lives around the globe, scientists say that the vaccine will take at least 12 to 18 months to develop. Researchers say that even if any of these vaccines get qualified, it will still not be available for the general masses until the next year.
It will be a logistical challenge and physically impossible to produce millions of potential doses and supply them to the general masses affected by Covid-19 in India by the end of that duration. Also, they believe that rich countries would try to hoard the vaccine.