At least seven teams are working on the development on a potential Coronavirus vaccine using the Sars Cov-2 but in an inactive or weakened form such against polio or measles.
The re-election campaign of US President Donald Trump took off by promising his potential voters that the Coronavirus vaccine will be available by end of 2020. The unprecedented global co-operation was kick started raising US 8.2 billion by the European leaders for the vaccine development.
With 3.5 million infected and killing 250,000 people this pandemic has broke the economic backbone of the entire world. Global efforts have been raised to develop a potential vaccine for COVID-2019 at an unprecedented speed to stop this pandemic.
Since January 12, 2020 almost 120 vaccine projects have reached at different development stage after China shared its genetic sequence to the World Health Organization (WHO) which caused to the outbreak of COVID-2019. According to the WHO, seven amongst these vaccine have entered into the Human trail on the volunteers for safety and efficiency , 82 others are tested on animals that is the pre-clinical stage. At least two vaccine have shown effectiveness protecting monkeys from infections.
Last month Johnson and Johnson said that if its human trial gets started on September as planned than they can produce nearly 600 million to 900 million doses of COVID-2019 vaccine by April 2021. A German company BioNTech and Pfizer said that if there Human trial for vaccine are successful then they can produce the vaccine by 2020.
According to a study by the peer review journal PLOS it takes nearly 10.7 years to develop a vaccine with a market penetration rate of 6%. There are three stages of Human trails a vaccine has to undergo to check its safety, effectiveness, strength and the duration of protection it offers further followed by licensure, production and distribution.
Dr.N.K.Ganguly Director of the The Indian Council Of Medical Research (ICMR) said," With Covid-19, the goal is to develop, test and manufacture a vaccine on a scale of hundreds of millions of doses within 12 to 18 months. Since the vaccine will be needed very quickly, an unprecedented approach has been taken by the companies. Since approvals are expected for an emergency use of the vaccine, they will start mass manufacturing as soon as they finish phase 2 trials and move to phase 3, and, in doing so, risk the failure of phase 3. In such cases, consortiums and countries fund for risk reduction and provide market commitments,”
In parallel to human safety trial Pune based Serum Indian Limited started the manufacturing 10 days ago. In a statement SII CEO Adar Poonawala said," SII plans to begin manufacturing the ChAdOx1 vaccine in anticipation of the clinical trials in the UK succeeding by September/October. SII will initiate the manufacture at its own risk to jump-start manufacturing and have enough doses available, if the clinical trials work,”
Last week WHO along with the national regulatory authorities in South Asia held a virtual meeting with three of the worlds largest vaccine manufacturer India, Thailand and Indonesia discussed about the time line for manufacturing vaccine and production capacities. While the regulators discussed on measures on how the process can be put on fast track and how the vaccine can be made available by end of 2020.
WHO South-East Region Director Dr.Poonam Khetrapal Singh said," The manufacturing capacity that exists in the region is of the quality and scale required to produce and roll out a Covid-19 vaccine globally. This region is a vaccine manufacturing powerhouse, and it must now also play a lead role in overcoming the ongoing pandemic,”
“The way this pandemic is progressing, we are left with no choice but to have an emergency use vaccine within eight months, we can’t afford to wait for years. In the case of Covid-19, we already have some experience from SARS CoV-1 and MERS platforms, which have been used previously for delivering other vaccines. The same is the case with proven adjuvants a substance which increases the body’s immune response to an antigen, which could be used. So considering the fact that we are not starting from scratch, it is in the realm of possibility,” added Dr.Ganguly.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr.Fauci said," within the realm of possibility” to have a vaccine widely available by January, but only if drug companies are willing to assume the risk of beginning to ramp up production of the vaccine before it is fully tested and approved."
Vaccines have helped nations eradicate small pox and polio however these are still an endemic in countries like Pakistan,, Afghanistan and Nigeria. Vaccine for HIV infection however is still elusive even after 20 years.
“All countries are now preparing to safely transition towards a new normal in which social and economic life can function amid low or no Covid-19 transmission. No country is safe until we all are safe, for which an effective vaccine that is accessible to all is needed,” Dr. Khetrapal added.
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