- Vaccination remains to play a significant role in preventing further illness and death as well as to control the pandemic.
- People who have had COVID-19 in the past, can also get the COVID-19 vaccine.
- A protective effect commences to develop 12 days following the administration of first dose, but the complete protection needs two shots which WHO recommends be administered with an interval of 21-28 days.
- The WHO has no preferred product, including their particular attributes and handling needs, allow nations to find the most suitable products for their circumstances.
The deadly coronavirus pandemic was first reported from Wuhan, China in December 2019 and spread across the globe leaving economies of the biggest countries come to a standstill. No one had predicted what the outbreak could cost, and sadly it did cost a lot to each one of us. From countries going into complete lockdown to rising deaths, life has been unpredictable in the past one year.
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The medical communities across the world started working towards a dose to bring an end to the virus. Now, vaccine development is not an easy process. It takes years to develop a vaccine and the fastest ever a vaccine was developed was in 1967 when the mumps vaccine was made in 4 years.
Covid-19 did put an unprecedented pressure on the healthcare systems across the globe which resulted into unprecedented measures by various world economies. The United States started a program called the Operation Warp Speed or the OWS to expedite a Covid-19 vaccine on March 30. Vaccine research and development started with allocation of hefty funds and best of medical professionals/companies putting in efforts to develop THE VACCINE.
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Moderna (NYSE:MRNA) and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) decided to take funds from the German government program and work on the development of the coronavirus vaccine. Since the development of the Covid-19 Vaccine involved a lot of safety concerns, the two companies went ahead with the mRNA or the messenger RNA Technology. This technology uses a different method – instead of vaccinating people with an entire virus for which antibodies will be generated against, the technology encodes a messenger RNA to produce the SARS-COV2- spike protein. Though risky, this technology did work for both Moderna and Pfizer and they became leaders in developing the coronavirus vaccine.
Dozens of other different coronavirus vaccines across the globe also entered into various stages of testing. China developed the CanSino Vaccine in June 2020 but used it in a limited way for military. In August 2020, Russia approved Sputnik V vaccine for emergency use. On 2 December 2020, the UK’s health regulator Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) provided a temporary regulatory authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine was the first approved COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of 18 February 2021, at least seven different vaccines across three platforms have been rolled out in countries. The highest priority, though, remain the old-age and sick people who are vulnerable to getting infected easily. Over 200 vaccine candidates are under development, of which over 60 are in clinical development.
Safe and effective vaccines have been a gamechanger across the globe. Data from different countries clearly show a decline in infections in older people after getting vaccinated. Countries that have vaccinated a larger share of their population see a drastic change in the number of active coronavirus cases. In the UK, hospital admissions and death rate has declined faster in older population than the young ones. There has been an 80% decline in the number of coronavirus cases in people above the age of 80 since the vaccination started. The same is the case in the United States, where hospitalization and new cases in old-age people sees a decline.
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At this point in time, many countries are still fighting the virus entering the third and the fourth wave as well as emergence of new variants. Data is clearly showing that countries like India where only 8% of the population is vaccinated with one dose is struggling with rising covid-19 cases. Latin America’s Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina are also witnessing rising deaths from the coronavirus.
When will Covid-19 end?
Answer to this question is what the world is seeking now. As data and research clearly suggests – the answer to this is when each and every individual across the globe is vaccinated safely. Countries like the UK and Israel, where vaccination rate is high are seeing an end in sight of the pandemic. Hence, Vaccine is definitely what will bring the end in sight of Covid-19 across the globe – the faster, the better.