Given the current situation, we know that the best exit to the COVID 19 crisis is through a vaccine. So, the question on every individual’s mind is – When will the coronavirus vaccine be ready? The pandemic that struck the world in December 2019 and has already killed more than 319,000 people. Almost 4.81 million people are infected globally.
We are all living in a state of anxiety and uncertainty. We can’t even go out for the fear of catching the infection and infecting our families. At this stage, the only thing that can restore our lives to normalcy is a vaccine.
So, when will the vaccine be available?
Coronavirus and the global effort to discover a vaccine
The global community has realized that we need a vaccine that will teach our immune system to recognize the coronavirus (if it enters our bodies) and create antibodies that will destroy the viruses. This is how everyone can become immune to this deadly infection.
To that effect, countries have created task forces who are conducting extensive research into studying the biology of the virus and coming up with a vaccine.
The progress so far
The race against coronavirus is breakneck and we have already made much progress-
1. Scientists in Seattle announced in March that they would start human trials soon. They have skipped animal trials and will be proceeding right on to testing on humans.
2. Virologists in Australia have formulated two tentative vaccines, which they are trying out on ferrets right now. Human trials began in late April.
3. GSK and Sanofi, the global pharmaceutical giants and rivals are joining hands to pool resources and create a vaccine.
4. In the USA, Bill Gates is funding 7 separate lines of research and all of them are making significant headway.
5. In Europe, the first human trial is underway in Oxford, England with 800 volunteers. Half of them will be administered a COVID-19 vaccine and the remaining will be injected with a special vaccine that prevents meningitis.
6. China, where the pandemic originated, has deployed 1000 scientists to produce a vaccine. The academy of military Medical Sciences has claimed that it has developed a vaccine and is enlisting volunteers to test the vaccine. A Chinese company has also paid $133 million to purchase stakes of the German pharmaceutical company BioNTech to help it develop a vaccine.
7. Europe too is at the forefront of research. All European countries fund the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiatives, which is currently spearheading the research with 8 potential vaccines.
Where does India stand in the race to develop a vaccine?
India’s very own Cipla is trying to develop a drug that is effective against coronavirus. It believes that the required drug can be a combination of HIV, anti-flu and anti-respiratory illness drugs.
The Serum Institute of India is working on a $100 million budget and has come up with a vaccine that has already been tried on animals. They have sought permission for conducting human trials.
Scientists across the world are positive that the vaccine will be developed by the end of this year and distributed globally. This is the time for international collaboration because the fate of humanity is at stake.
After a long time, the whole world is united to get the vaccine ready as quickly as possible. And until the vaccine becomes available, follow social distancing and personal hygiene measures to keep you and your loved ones safe.