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Living On The Edge?
With excessive light shed upon the fact that people with a low immune system, or senior citizens are more likely prone to getting infected by Covid-19, it can be said that they are literally living dangerously.
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The only way out for people with, or without, low immune systems is that there is a vaccine created against Covid-19 as soon as possible. For the vaccine candidate developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, Serum Institute of India (SII) said it will resume the trials in India once Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gives it requisite permission. The vaccine is much awaited as there are a large number of people testing positive of Covid-19. There have been a large number of deaths too.
Recently on an online interaction on a programme “Sunday Samvad” Harsh Vardhan, the Indian Health Minister volunteered to be the first person to take Covid-19 vaccine if there is a lack of trust in people.
He also mentioned that the vaccine will be first made available to those who need it the most, irrespective of their paying capacity. “Issues like vaccine security, cost, equity, cold-chain requirements, production timelines etc., are also been discussed intensely," he stated. He also added that by March 2021 a vaccine will have been developed completely and will be risk free. A population of 1.3 billion people can stay safe if India can make a breakthrough in this context.
AstraZeneca PLC had paused the trial of coronavirus vaccine on 6th September as a volunteer developed an unexplained illness. It was also reported that the clinical trials had been put on hold in other countries including USA, UK, Brazil and South Africa. The clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, which had to be halted last week, will resume in the United Kingdom, they said in separate statements.
Trials for this vaccine candidate had been paused recently, after one of the participants developed a serious ailment, that news reports described as a neurological disorderaffecting the spinal cord. This led to a controversy whether these trials would do more harm instead of good. The trials were halted so that an expert team could verify whether the illness was caused due to the vaccine, or something else. “The independent review process has concluded, and following the recommendations of both the independent safety review committee and the UK regulator, the MHRA (Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), the trials will recommence in the UK,” the statement from Oxford University said.
The scenario as of now is – 180 vaccine candidates in pre-clinical or clinical trials, 35 of them in clinical trials, 8 in final stages, phase-3 of human trials. At least 8 candidate vaccines being developed in India. Two of these have entered phase-2 trials after completing phase-1.
On a conclusive note we can assume that all nations worldwide are working hard to find a vaccine to end this pandemic. There will be challenges but hopefully something positive will emerge soon as there are a large number of cases and deaths due to Covid-19.