Covid-19 Vaccines - Is the End in Sight?
Updated: Feb 1
The Covid-19 pandemic has been declared one of the severest worldwide human calamities of our time, causing several governments to employ rigorous lockdown measures, impede international travel and instil precautionary health procedures to alleviate the virus’s morbidity and mortality. To this day, no prescribed drug has the potential to combat the virus, which leaves the world with only a possible vaccination to overcome this ghastly pandemic. The question is, will this inoculation be effective, efficient, harmless and accessible globally, in order to bring normalcy to this dire turmoil?
The majority of the world’ s population is still easily susceptible to succumbing to this pernicious virus. The wellbeing of numerous citizens has been deteriorating and fatalities have been simultaneously increasing. Due to people having to endure the colossal burden of this deleterious pandemic, governments have supplemented fiscal succour into vaccine research, development, manufacturing, and distribution. According to a BBC news article, the development of a vaccination would allow lockdowns to be elevated more securely, and social distancing to be relaxed. This would radically improve the health, financial and commercial state of each country.
According to the World Health Organizations (WHO), vaccinations immunise people against perilous diseases. They contain unresponsive or debilitated forms of germs such as viruses or bacteria, for the immune system to generate antibodies, just as it does when it is exposed to a disease. In the future, if the body encounters those disease-causing pathogens, it will react by instantaneously obliterating the pathogens, ultimately destroying the infection.
Scientists and professionals, together with WHO and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), have amalgamated to form Covax. Covax aims to hasten the development, production, and impartial access to Covid-19 tests and treatments. In addition to the aforementioned statement, they guarantee fair and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines for every country in the world.
There have been multitudes of potential injections undergoing various trials. The stages of development follow an explicit process. The first is the exploratory stage, which consists of laboratory research, and intends to discover an antidote for the disease. The second stage includes large scale clinical testing. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is then needed to authorise the invented cure before it is manufactured and supplied to medical physicians. In recent weeks, studies have proved certain vaccines can provide immunity against Covid-19, including two developed by BioNTech Pfizer and Moderna.
The Moderna serum utilises an unconventional approach by utilising genetic instructions that enable cells to form specified proteins. This ensured a more effective and efficient production process. The vaccine transformed from a computer design (RNA technology) in January, to human study in three months, making Moderna the first U.S. company to reach that point. The company legitimately requested an emergency approval in November from the FDA, followed by the panel of agency advisers endorsing the vaccine on the 17th of December. According to the Biopharma Dive, Moderna's vaccine appeared safe, with no unforeseen or lethal side effects.
The BioNTech Pfizer vaccine, similarly to Moderna, employs RNA technology. The company received an emergency clearance from the FDA on the 11th of December. The side effects of this inoculation include injection site pain and other common vaccine reactions like fatigue and fever. Joanne Silberner, specialising in biology stated, “An FDA analysis of the vaccine's safety and effectiveness on people aged 16 and older found ‘no specific safety concerns’ that would preclude the vaccine's use.” The BioNtech Pfizer company proclaimed that their shot is 95% effective in preventing Covid-19. Both these vaccinations have been awarded emergency approval to be used in all countries.
A considerable predicament emanating from the inoculations include equitable availability for various countries. According to Biopharma dive, there have been lucrative procurement processes between pharmaceuticals and governments, which will secure early vaccine access for the U.S, Europe and other well-established countries including Japan and Canada. According to Emory University’s vaccines expert Walter Orenstein, “The rest of the world might not be so fortunate. It's not like we can expect 7 billion doses the day after licensure so we can vaccinate the whole world. To truly curb circulation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in humans, getting vaccines to nations wealthy and poor will be a vital mission.” Dr Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, hypothesised that "hundreds of millions of doses" of vaccines will be ready to deploy by mid-2021. However, low-income countries are predicted to only receive inoculations around 2023 or 2024.
From the aforementioned information, it is evident that the vaccinations could be used as a form of salvation against this cataclysmic virus. However, there are trepidatious citizens who are dubious regarding the safety and accessibility of these inoculations. Therefore, it is imperative that governments, together with the Covax collaboration, act fairly, to ensure everyone receives adequate treatments and vaccines.