Scientist’s eventually bitten the bullet: COVID-19 Vaccines
January 06, 2021
COVID-19 is the on-going challenging issue prompted from Wuhan (China) in December 2019, and within a short period emerged from various parts of the world that eventually lead the WHO to declare its status as a pandemic in March 2020. Coronavirus has its roots in humans since the 2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the 2011 outbreak of middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS). The currently going pandemic is due to another strain of the deadly virus, initially named 2019-nCoV while later officially replaced with SARS-Cov-2.
The disease characteristics are symptomized after 14 days of its exposure, while during that incubation period virus replicates itself and takeover the immune system of the host. The infected patient suffers’ from cough, fever, and tiredness. The loss of taste and smell is also common in the initial diagnosis. In a more severe form of complications chest pain, runny nose, headache, muscle pain, and shortness of breath are more commonly seen. The severity of symptoms differs to individual immunity, ranges from mild to the severe form. People with high risk and low immune systems are more prone to it.
Covid-19 Vaccine Endeavor:
With the urge to control whilst also limiting the transmission pattern of Covid-19, several strategic measures were adopted. Several countries implemented local, regional, and national level restrictions. The lost resort measure in the form of complete lockdown also propagated in various parts of the world. However, social distancing, use of masks, and avoidance gathering proved to an efficient adaptive measure. But, because of its fast transmission rate, its complete control wouldn’t be assumed possible. Hence, an urgent need of developing a vaccine against Covid-19 came in demand.
A Covid-19 vaccine aimed to boost up the individual acquired immune system while making susceptible it with the virus part or genome. This vulnerability develops antibodies and immunological memory in the host to fight against future exposure.
It is very interesting to know that the vaccine work has already been established from past outbreaks of SARS and MERS. The structure of the virus and its genomic pattern outlined fast enough that the efforts to make a vaccine against COVID-19 started in early 2020.
By mid-December 2020, 57 vaccine candidates were in clinical research, including 40 in Phase I–II trials and 17 in Phase II–III trials. (Source: Wikipedia)
Types of Coronavirus vaccines:
- mRNA vaccines
- Protein subunit vaccines
- Vector vaccines
National regulatory authorities have approved six vaccines for public use:
- Two RNA vaccines (tozinameran from Pfizer–BioNTech and mRNA-1273 from Moderna)
- Two conventional inactivated vaccines (BBIBP-CorV from Sinopharm and CoronaVac from Sinovac),
- Two viral vector vaccines (Gam-COVID-Vac from the Gamaleya Research Institute and AZD1222 from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca).
Vaccines work with the immune system to get your body able to combat the infection if you are exposed to it. Other precautions, such as masks and social distances, help reduce the risk of being exposed to or spreading the virus to others. In addition to these, the scientist’s efforts are worth appreciable in developing Covid-19 vaccines that will equip the mass population with boosted immunity and a healthier immune system.