India’s vaccine eyes for safety

Patience is the key today; we are not far behind the world in terms of vaccine development till then we have to follow the guidelines of the government.

India, like the rest of the world, is grappling with the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19.

In India, over the past couple of weeks, daily recoveries from the novel coronavirus have improved consistently in terms of absolute numbers even as new cases are rising in an unstoppable fashion.

India’s strong health-care systems are working under constant pressure in this pandemic but the high number of medical workers being infected is a worrisome trend.

With stringent lockdown in India, policymakers are suggesting that infection won’t last long but with the rapid rise in cases and situation getting out of hands, research teams around the country are looking for a vaccine for support in these unprecedented times.

However, despite all efforts, it takes almost five years, or even more, for a new vaccine to be developed before it can be used in humans as per standards. But in the hour of the pandemic, these timeframes are reduced and effective trials are done to ensure the safety of mankind.

Considering the extraordinary situation right now, CDSCO is also empowered to reduce the timeframe of vaccine trials and can also give emergency authorization.

With Russia being the first candidate to come up with its vaccine (Sputnik-V), there’s a race in the development of vaccine all over the world. Several candidates around the world are progressing towards Phase 3 trials.

AstraZeneca, Serum Institute of India, Covaxin, Bharat Biotech and ZyCoV-D, Zydus Cadila are some prominent names from India that are in the race of mass-producing vaccines once the trials are completed successfully.

According to Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India (SII), “Developing a vaccine is like riding a rollercoaster; there are plenty of ups and downs. Sometimes we fail, sometimes we succeed, but we must be patient and not jump to conclusions too early. We must wait for all phase 3 trials to be completed.”

With the time frame being reduced for vaccine development, potential risks involved are much higher and the results of human trials are very important for its efficacy. Phase 3 trials results with large sample size would be effective in knowing the efficiency and safety of the vaccine.

At the moment, it looks like health care and essential workers, as well as high-risk populations including older adults, residents of long-term care facilities, and people with underlying medical conditions, will be first up.

“To ensure maximum immunization coverage and contain the pandemic, it is important to make sure that the most remote and poorest countries of the world have access to affordable cure and preventive measures, said Adar Poonawalla.

It must be noted that vaccine development is a long process with multiple stages and most important of all is human trials and in any trial fast-tracking the process could lead to severe consequences for the safety and the health of people. Therefore, patience is the key today; we are not far behind the world in terms of vaccine development till then we have to follow Covid protocols and guidelines of the government.

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