COVID-19 (abbreviated as coronavirus disease 2019) is a highly contagious disease caused by novel coronavirus & characterized by low-grade fever, flu, dry cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain or pressure.
A new strain of the virus that doesn’t have a history of previous existence is called the novel virus.
On the microscopic view, the causative agent of COVID-19 shows multiple crowns like protruding in its upper surface. That’s why it is called Corona.
The first outbreak of COVID-19 took place in Wuhan & China reported the COVID-19 outbreak to WHO in Wuhan on 31st December 2019. Where its causative agent (novel coronavirus) was isolated on 7th January. This novel virus 79% genetically resemble SARs & 50% to MERS.
However, this disease is not much deadly as compared to previous outbreaks. People of mild to moderate symptoms usually recover without hospitalization. But in severe symptoms, one needs to seek medical attention to avoid further adverse consequences. But now this epidemic became pandemic by involving two hundred and thirteen countries.
The vaccine is a treatment in which dead or attenuated pathogens are inaugurated into our bodies. As a result, the body defense system facilitates B cells to produce antibodies & T cells to fight pathogens against that foreign pathogen; consequently, immunity improves to that particular infection.
Up to now, there is no specific vaccination or medication against COVID-19. Some non-specific vaccines like anti-malarial or BCG (bacillus Calmette Guerin a TB vaccine) are on clinical trials against corona infection.
Yet COVID-19 vaccine development is not successful. Without a vaccine, we can’t overcome the pandemic. Its progression may be slow down by adopting WHO precautionary strategies. According to a WHO meeting held on February
“COVID-19 vaccine can’t be formulated for the next 18 months. Probably Corona may not take off & people will have to learn to live with it. It is also possible that the corona-virus vaccine will not be available after spending so much researches & money”.
Vaccine formulation against RNA enveloped virus is not easy as people perceive it. Viral diseases like Hep c, Ebola, HIV, etc. are not new, and scientists have been trying so far to make the vaccine, but unfortunately, no one is successful yet.
Current Status of coronavirus vaccine:
Clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccination has been started since 2020. Like the National institute of allergy and infectious disease in the United States is at Phase -1 by using lipid nanoparticle dispersion containing mRNA technology.
Where the institute of biotechnology of military medical sciences in china is at Phase -2 by using recombinant adenovirus vector 5 technology. And trials sponsored by the University of Oxford in the united states are at Phase 1-2 by using adenovirus technology.
Many countries start the race for coronavirus vaccine formulation. However, according to Newsweek, three countries start COVID-19 vaccine trials globally; let’s see it works or not. Testing vaccination testing is at its initial stage; however, testing usually takes several months to even years for the verification of Effectiveness.
The general procedure of making a vaccine available globally has to go through different phases. According to the CDC, the vaccine development cycle includes:
Exploratory stage (Phase 0)
In this stage, micro-dosing of candidate vaccines is injected into two different groups of communities ranging from 10-15 peoples. These studies help to choose the best route of administration and the expected pharmacokinetic of the vaccine.
Trials of candidate vaccines carried out on a larger scale as compared to the Exploratory phase in this stage. It mainly consists of 20-200 peoples. This stage is mainly a concern for the therapeutic dose identification, the side effect of the drug & formulation method of a drug.
Clinical development stage
In this stage, trials of candidate vaccine trials performed on an extensive group ranging from 100 -300 people where this stage is mainly concern with the efficacy of the drug.
There is a meager success rate in this phase as compared to other phases.
Regulatory review & approval
This phase includes post-marketing trials. In this phase, long term side effects of the drug within a body or with other drugs are observed. After two years of the trial, it is decided whether it would be sold or restricted.
CEPI (Coalition for epidemic preparedness innovation), WHO (world health organization), and gates invest money for the COVID early trials, researches &vaccine development.
When Corona vaccine will be launched?
Trials for COVID-19 vaccine on human has been started. Chado 1 is the name of the vaccine that has been developed by the Oxford vaccine group in the United Kingdom. This vaccine is in the clinical testing phase & would take time to launch officially. Scientists are very much sure. If Chadox 1 will be succeeded in its trial, then till September 2020, we will get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Why we need the COVID-19 vaccine?
The possible best way to keep yourself protected from this contagious disease is vaccination. It helps to strengthen your immune system & make it so much stable to fight with foreign bodies. The good thing is that it saves you as well as others by providing herd immunity. It aids in stopping disease epidemics & pandemics. If scientists succeed in the development of COVID-19 vaccines, the Corona will disappear soon from the globe.
If doctors and scientist paved their way to subside this communicable disease, the world would start to function the way as it does typically. On the opposite side, if research went all in vain, then the whole world will be on the brink of disaster. COVID-19 right now, hitting our economy very severely by the lockdown.
The global financial market damage is more than severe. Pakistan itself estimated the closure of more than five million jobs. All sports and games (PSL prohibition), transport business, factories, or trades all are banned due to the COVID pandemic. Much offline business is also at its worse state. Corona has taken us there where nobody has gone before because u can’t stay home forever, so to cope up with these losses, we must need a vaccination.
It’s hard to give any time frame. The vaccine may be developed within a month, years, decades, or never. Scientists may develop an effective vaccine of COVID-19 if the virus stays stable. Coronavirus continues to mutate so it becomes pretty difficult for the original vaccine to provide immunity against the mutated virus. Until the vaccine is made, we need to take care of ourselves by frequently washing hands, wearing masks, and don’t go out of the house unnecessarily.
BY: KAINAT SADAF
Join our Fb Group For More Updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/24insight/