The Magic Shot

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COVID has brought everyone’s life to standstill. People are fatigued and desperately want to get back to life what it used to be 2019. Everyone is awaiting the magic shot that will get their life back to normal. Everyone has the same question in mind, by when will the vaccine be ready? Getting anything by this year-end seems to be quite an optimistic view, experts suggest that spring 2021 can be the best-case scenario for this.

No one has even imagined a pandemic of this magnitude and severity. Lockdown, contact tracing, targeted quarantine is helping to contain the virus to some extent but we can't achieve complete eradication till most of the population is vaccinated against the disease. The vaccine is the need of time. Presently we are left to co-exist with the virus and its individual’s ability to assess risk and make his own decision and live his day to day life.

Why does vaccine development take so much of time and how much time do we need to wait to get back to our old normal?? Social distancing, school closure, online classes, home quarantine is so much frustrating.

Here a quick answer to our frustrated fatigued mind.

Before the vaccine is available for public use, the researchers have to prove the government that the vaccine is effective against the disease and also safe to use. Vaccine passes through 3 main stages before it’s taken up for mass production. Stage one is trial on experimental animals; stage two is trial on the healthy human to decide on dosage; and stage three is a clinical trial (the buzz word these days) where the vaccine is given to an individual who has been naturally exposed to the virus to check the effectiveness of the same. Post these checks the vaccine is approved for mass production but building that kind of mass production capability also takes time. Manufacturers are reluctant to invest in mass production until they know the vaccine will work. So now we know why our magic shot is taking so much time to get ready.

COVAX, as WHO terms it, is a facility where numerous nations join together to share the risk associated with vaccine development. The goal of COVAX is to deliver 2 billion doses of a safe effective vaccine that has passed through regulatory approval and fulfils WHO prequalification by Dec 2021. Many countries partnering in this COVAX program are showing promising results and have moved to the clinical trial stage. Funding from government and commitment from manufacturers will play a key role in this program. The success of such a program depends on how well the nations are coordinated and ready to share their research efforts.

COVID has brought the world together to work for humanity as a team. Let's hope our magic shot comes soon and saves us from this wave of despair.


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