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There are over 140 candidates in countries around the world who have been consistently involved in making the one vaccine which can cure the disease coronavirus.
The world is going through a global health crisis called the Covid-19. The novel coronavirus which first originated in the city of Wuhan in China has travelled the world and infected more than 92 lakh people. The death toll around the world is soon going to hit the 5 lakh mark. The confirmed Covid-19 infections in India stand at 4,56,000 cases with a death toll of around 15,000 around the states in India.
Though the recovery rate around the world is close to 50% there is no proper medication or vaccine that can cure coronavirus immediately. Out of the 9.2 million infected in the world 4.6 million have already been recovered. There have been a lot of alternative cures doctors around the world are using to cure coronavirus. Not all cures are working on all the patients though. From plasma therapy to malaria medication doctors have been experimenting with the treatment process. In India pharma companies like Glenmark and Cipla have come with oral and vial drug which specifically for coronavirus which promise 88% success rate. There have also been drugs in Ayurveda launched by Patanjali group which claim 100% success rate and recovery. The government and WHO have not given any confirmation from their side regarding the same.
The only cure which the world has been waiting for since the start of this pandemic is the vaccine for this treatment. There are 140 candidates around the world who have been involved in the development of vaccine for Covid-19. The good news here is most of the candidates have reached the human trial phase of the development process.
Sowmya Swami Nathan, senior scientist of World health Organization has given a statement that the world may have 2 billion doses of up to 3 different vaccines by the next year. But there is a big IF in this statement. This is only possible if the trials of the vaccine are successful. Out of the 140 candidates in the Vaccine development only around 20 havereached the human trial phase.
Now the question is what are the stages of the vaccine development? There are 2 stages one is the Pre-clinical stage and the second is the human trial stage.
Pre-clinical stage: in this pre-clinical stage the vaccine is tested on animals like monkeys and mice. This is done to make sure the vaccine that has been developed is working or it is not.
After crossing the pre-clinical stage there come the second stage which is the Human trial stage. This stage is divided into 3 phases.
In the first phase, the trial and testing is done on less than 100 volunteers to check the immune response.
After the clearance in the first phase, the second phase comes where hundreds are given the vaccine to check the result on dosage and also about the safety of the patients.
In the third face the vaccine is given to thousands of volunteers for the litmus test of efficiency. This is the most crucial step of human trial as it checks if the vaccine is working or not to identify the success rate of the vaccine.
After the vaccine passes these 3 stages it is given the approval to be mass produced and sold for the public.
The development of a vaccine usually takes years under any normal circumstance but as these are desperate times and unprecedented times so all the phases of human trials and other clinical trials are conducted in the shortest time possible.
The top candidates for the development of this vaccine are:
Moderna Vaccine: This vaccine uses mRNA technology to produce viral response in the body. This vaccine is going to enter the 3rd stage of human trials in July. Over 30,000 volunteers will be given this vaccine. The reports show that thevaccine has showed best results on mice.
AstraZeneca vaccine: this vaccine is developed by the University of Oxford: hyped. This vaccine is currently in the phase3 of its trials in Brazil. The developers of this vaccine are very confident and have already given orders to produce 400 million doses and are also ready to give an order of upto a billion doses of the vaccine to the manufacturer.
Sinovac Chinese company: It is being developed by Beijing based Sinovac technologies; It is ready for phase 3 trials in Brazil and Chine. The first and second phases of this vaccine showed that it is safe and the company is 99% sure that this vaccine will work
Apart from these top 3 contenders there are other candidates who are soon going to enter the third phase, these include Pfizer and BioNtech which are US based pharmaceutical companies. They have a total of 4 vaccine candidates using the mRNA technology. The production scale of these companies is very high and if they are successful in the third phase the vaccine might be out by October 2020.
Then we also have promising candidates like Novavax, Imperial College London vaccine and Johnson and Johnson vaccine which are either in phase 1 or phase 2 of human trial stage.
World Health Organization is also working on the distribution structure of the vaccine if it passes the human trial stage.
By Deepika Agarwal