2020 Covid Vaccine Updates
The novel coronavirus has taken the world for a tipsy curvy ride. It changed the dynamics and perception of various things in 2020. However, everyone waited for 2021 to witness the worldwide endeavour to create a safe vaccine for the virus. 2020 covid vaccine updates are something that everyone has been following for a very long time.
For the uninitiated,
- COVID-19 is a respiratory disease which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
- Researchers are working across the globe to develop a proper vaccine.
- As of now, there are 88 candidate vaccines.
- Also, there are 20 candidate vaccines in clinical trials in stage 3.
- 11 vaccines have already been authorised across various countries.
- Pfizer has begun vaccine trials in pregnant women.
Covid Vaccine Updates
The WHO (World Health Organization) has partnered with countries that are manufacturing the vaccines. They are tracking the pandemic while advising on critical situations and distributing proper medical supplies. At the same time, they are speeding up to develop safe vaccines.
As of 18th February 2021, the World Health Organisation mentioned that seven different vaccines across three platforms are out in several countries. They further added that vulnerable populations are the highest priority right now.
Vaccines save a lot of lives every year around the globe. However, they take a lot of time to reach the clinics, as they need to be researched and tested properly. As the world came to a screeching halt in 2020 due to the pandemic, people are now anxiously keeping track of the 2020 covid vaccine updates.
This anxiousness has motivated scientists to fast-track the entire process of vaccine development. Today, 71 vaccine trials are being conducted around the world. The best part is that 20 of these trials have already reached the final stages of testing. In addition to that, 78 pre-clinical vaccines are being tested on animals.
Further, there are 200 additional vaccine candidates in development, out of which, 60 are in COVAX (Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access), a part of the ACT (Access to Covid-19 Tools) Accelerator. It is an organisation launched by the World Health Organization in 2020.
COVAX is the vaccine pillar of ACT Accelerator and is governed by CEPI (Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations), GAVI (The Vaccine Alliance) and WHO. All of them are working to end the crucial phase of coronavirus across the globe.
What Happens in the Testing Phase According to the Novel Coronavirus Information Center?
Scientists test the virus on cells and then test it on animals like mice and monkeys to check the immune response.
PHASE 1 trial
Scientists test the vaccine on volunteers to see the effects on humans and to confirm whether it stimulates the immune system or not. These people are asked to consult a doctor immediately if anything goes wrong.
PHASE 2 trial
In phase 2, scientists test the vaccines on hundreds of people by dividing them into two control groups like the elderly and children. This is to check whether the vaccine is acting differently in different doses, what is the best dose, and its short-term side effects.
PHASE 3 trial
In this, scientists test the vaccine on thousands of people to see how many get cured or remain infected. This trial determines if the vaccine is working or not. It is to understand if the vaccine is worth the risk of side effects?
Most countries approved vaccines in the early phase of testing. Countries like China and Russia administered the vaccines even before the detailed results of Phase 3 came in.
This is given after the regulation and results of all the phases.
In order to match up the speed with the pandemic, scientists combine phases to get results faster. A lot of countries are accelerating vaccine development by taking them during the combined phases of 1st and 2nd trial.
Paused or Abandoned
If the investigators find problems in the testing phase, they can pause or abandon it right away. Also, people who are showing the symptoms are asked to consult a doctor immediately.
Which Companies in India are Making the Vaccine?
Four different companies in India are in the race of making vaccines.
1. Covaxin, Bharat Biotech
This vaccine is being developed and manufactured in Hyderabad. The company received approvals for conducting phase 1 and 2 trials.
2. AstraZeneca, Serum Institute of India
They are conducting phase 3 trials in 15 centres across the country.
3. ZyCoV-D, Zydus Cadila
They have started the human dosing to 30,000 volunteers, and the vaccine will soon be available for everyone.
4. Vaccine candidate from Panacea Biotec
It is an unnamed vaccine that this pharmaceutical company is all set to produce. They are set to have a joint venture with s US-based Refana Inc. They are planning to manufacture over 500 million doses of vaccine together.
Will the Pandemic End in 2021?
It is a good idea to follow the 2020 covid vaccine updates in 2021 as well. However, a lot of experts think that the pandemic will not come to an end in 2021, but it will slow down.
The problem is that there cannot be a standard survey for the whole world as the coronavirus is impacting differently in countries. The lockdown has eased everywhere but, each country has to take its own protection. Many researchers suggest that if 50-60% of people are cautious in public, then social distancing measures can be eased gradually.
The vaccine has been introduced, and thus, the intensity of the virus has reduced. However, it will be wrong to say that the pandemic will end entirely in 2021. This is because the vaccines have just started. Most of them are still in the testing phases. It is essential to consider all those timelines as well.
At the same time, many believe that everyone needs to take the vaccine for the pandemic to end.
It is a good idea to take precautions until the vaccine is available to you. Even if you have mild symptoms, consult a doctor immediately.