Vaccine Against Corona Virus: Latest Updates
Created by Shalini Singh Updated on Nov 19, 2020
2020 is almost coming to an end and the Coronavirus Pandemic continues to spread. Infact, the second wave of COVID is here. It is not surprising that states have started going into lockdowns again.
The good part is there is progress on the vaccine part.
There is a high possibility that a vaccine for the coronavirus will be ready by early 2021. Almost 5 candidates have spoken about fruitful and promising research on the novel coronavirus vaccine.
Before we go on to the candidadtes, let us understand that there are 2 most widely used tests - Rapd Antigen Test and RTPCR
Rapid Antigen Test - It is a simple test that detects antigens in the Viral structure.
It is Cheap and quick. However it is less sensitive as it cannot detect a low viral load. That is why it needs follow-up with RTPCR.
The test detects the presence of viral genetic material. It is highly sensitive, reliable and can detect very low viral load. But it is costly and consumes a lot of time.
If RTPCR is negative, but there are symptoms and investigations suggest a possible infection, you should treat it as positive as timing of Sample Collection may cause a False Negative, and because RTPCR has been shown to give a False Negative.
Let us look at the developments on the Covid-19 Vaccine front
Moderna announces a vaccine with 94.5% efficacy rate
The most recent and a strong contender is Moderna's mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. The company has announced their study and findings of early observatory data. This states that the vaccine is 94.5% effective. This is by far the highest efficacy rate when compared to any other vaccine candidate. The latest report by Moderna indeed is a ray of hope to fight the global pandemic.
Is Moderna's shot the safest we have right now?
Apparently, there are no major side effects of the vaccine and that marks it as safe. Also the vaccine makers have announced their plans to supply 20 million doses in the coming months. These require relatively less cold temperatures for storage and can stay stable in a refrigerator for upto 30 days. These can be shipped for longer use, which makes these accessible for diverse nations.
Pfizer's - Safe shot but delivery and administration a struggle
This vaccine is presently in the critical leg of phase III testing and is found out to be 90% safe.
The efficiency of the vaccine for the high-risk category, that includes older people, makes this one as one of the top candidates. Also, so far no side effects have been observed.
The issue with the Pfizer shot is the pricing and storage. Besides, the vaccine jab requires supply access. These need to be stored at extremely low temperatures which is difficult. Pfizer also has some restrictions in terms of the countries it can supply the dosage to.
Covaxin Enters Phase 3 trials
Bharat Biotech backed Covaxin witnessed huge success in its early phases and is now entering phase III study across different centers in India. The third phase trial will see the involvement of nearly 26,000 volunteers. This will be done in collaboration with ICMR.
Covaxin has been made using an inactive version of the virus, and is found to be safe and effective in averting infections that came out in phase 1 and 2 studies. The efficacy rates and delivery timelines of COVAXIN, as promised by authorities' efficacy rates and delivery timeline matches global candidates. However, there is still not enough clarity on when would the disease be ready.
Another Indian maker, ZyCOV-D will also head to phase III trials soon.
Besides these, Vaccine maker Biologic E is also expected to start clinical trials of one of its experimental COVID-19 vaccines. And that is not it! Bharat Biotech is also working on making a special nasal COVID vaccine with a global firm.
Russian vaccine Sputnik V
The ambitious Covid-19 vaccine from Russia was one of the first ones to be registered for use. It will be finally making its way on the Indian shores. The vaccine will be reaching a medical facility in Kanpur first where there will be its testing and monitoring for a few weeks. The Sputnik V vaccine has already been given to a few groups in Russia. It is produced in two forms, a liquid form and a freeze dried version. The liquid form has to be stored at a temperature setting of -18 degree C, and the freeze-dried version needs to be stored at relatively easier temperatures (2-8 degrees C).
The vaccine may be available in India by March or April after the combined phase 2 and phase 3 testing is completed.
Oxford-Astrazeneca's - 100 million doses by December
Serum Institute of India offered hope that Indians may have access to a COVID-19 vaccine soon. Safety Data for the Oxford developed vaccine is still awaited but its Pune-based partner declared that more than 100 million doses of the experimental jab shall be made ready by the month of December.
Infact, the government authorities are also preparing a priority list of healthcare workers and staff who would be vaccinated on a priority basis. The Serum Institute of Indian has promised to reserve at least 50% doses for India and other developing nations at an affordable rate.
| Nov 28, 2020
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