The year 2020 has made all of us curious about the development of the vaccine. The only thought that strikes our mind is getting a vaccine in hand as soon as possible and put an end to the pandemic. In such an urgent need of the vaccine if the vaccine created is prohibitively expensive, besides being unacceptable will do little good. As of October 22, 2020, Corona positive cases across the world have exceeded 41 Million. India with 7.65 Million cases is entering the first winter of the pandemic. We all are familiar that viral infections particularly the Influenza variety are also common at this time of the year.
One generalized concept that we are aware of is viruses are constantly mutating, so the strain of the virus differs from one region to another. The vaccine must provide immunity against all strains of the virus, which makes it even more challenging to come up with the desired vaccine.
Since the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease, 2019) pandemic is breaking the charts, it is high time for pharmaceutical companies to deliver on their promises. But some vaccine developmental records have already been shattered. We may require more work in this regard. It took only 65 days from the time the coronavirus genome was posted online for the pharmaceutical companies. Now more than 100 groups across the world claim that they are working on a coronavirus vaccine.
It is sure that several vaccines are likely to be available over time, it is possible one vaccine may require one dose while the other may require more doses. In India, vaccination is to be provided to 20 to 25 crore people by July 2021 (Harsh Vardhan, Health Minister of India). This is only possible when more than one vaccine may become available by the expected time.
When the pandemic broke out, people were too scared and conscious about the virus but as time passed, people become more lenient towards the severity of the viral infection. This transition will never prove to be an aid but it can even worsen its effect and can create a second wave. Luxembourg is the country that has battled the first and second waves and now is in the midst of the third wave. Throughout human history, pandemics have come and gone but who does not know of the Spanish Flu which lasted from 1918 to 1920 and had affected 500 Million people in four successive waves, and the death toll was about 17 to 50 Million.
Today with better awareness, improved medical facilities, better health infrastructure, and advanced knowledge we can reduce the death toll and prevent it from becoming the deadliest pandemic of human history. However, it is high time to educate the masses about the severity of viral spread.
About the author: Anees Ul Rehman is a student of GMC Anantnag, J&K.