The entire world population is waiting desperately for the vaccine against this deadly virus and looking forward to the ‘old normal’ to resurface. Hence, world-class researchers are working day and night to develop a Covid 19 vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing this pandemic. The target to bring the Covid 19 vaccine to market is from the end of 2020 to the middle of 2021. Here is a short account of the Coronavirus vaccine development. To date, only two Covid 19 vaccines are approved. The Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation approved Sputnik V – formerly known as Gam-COVID-Vac by the Gamaleya Research Institute in Moscow on 11th August. Yet to enter Phase 3, many questions are rising on its safety and efficacy. Regulatory approval has been granted to EpiVacCorona in Russia. This vaccine has also not entered the Phase 3 trial yet.
THE COVID 19 VACCINE PROGRESS:
Three other Covid 19 vaccines: Moderna’s mRNA-1273, University of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s AZD1222, Pfizer and BioNTech’s BNT162 have been chosen for funding for Phase 3 trails. OWS (Operation Warp Speed), a collaboration of few US Federal government departments, gave this approval.
The departments including Health and Human Services and its sub-agencies, like Agriculture, Energy, Veterans Affairs, and the private sector. Hence, it is an unprecedented event of a partnership between public and private for Coronavirus Vaccine Development. Eighteen more biopharmaceutical companies have partnered with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) under the OWS. This collaboration has the name ACTIV. COVPN (COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network) has been established funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for clinical trials of the Covid 19 vaccine. These collaborations and partnerships are a show of dedication to the augmentation of the coronavirus vaccine progress.
Coronavirus Vaccine and Regional Progress
The global development in trials of the Coronavirus Vaccine has somewhat eased the ongoing anxiety and tension of the pandemic. If a Covid 19 vaccine is successful and ready for utilization then it will break all previous records as a minimum of four years are required for the development of a vaccine. The three companies: Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, are conducting human trials for the Covid 19 vaccines. If all goes well, then at least one of the vaccines will be available by the end of 2020. China, after competently fighting the Coronavirus through lockdown and confinement, is also going forward in its Covid 19 vaccine development. Five Coronavirus Vaccine trials are being held in China. The process of trials for the Coronavirus Vaccines from China is being held in Brazil, Pakistan, Peru, and the United Arab Emirates.
CORONAVIRUS VACCINE DEVELOPMENT AND DISTRIBUTION
Once the Covid 19 vaccines are available, the biggest challenge will be their equitable and fast distribution. Under Operation Warp Speed, the Trump government had already bought hundreds of millions of doses from several vaccine developers. Two of the purchased vaccines have shown formidable efficacy in its trials in clinics (Phase3).
The planning for distribution has already started in the US. The Biden government will soon take this effort. The new government has formed a Covid 19 task force and has taken responsibility for the planning. By December, a certain amount of Covid 19 vaccine doses may become available, followed by more doses later. All the sections of the government will play an important role in the distribution of the Covid 19 vaccines. State, territorial and local governments will play their parts as they already have primary authority over routines vaccine doses.
Preparation for Distribution
The preparation has already started for the distribution of the Coronavirus vaccines, and as a step towards it, the federal government has asked the 64 jurisdictional programs for immunization to fund and work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They are to develop plans for the distribution of the Covid 19 vaccines by following the Interim Playbook. In the US, the health care workers are the most affected and they are the top priority for receiving the Covid 19 vaccine first.
The federal government is paying attention to the key areas for the planning of the distribution. These key areas are mainly, Communications, Reporting & Data Collection, Providers List, Prioritizing Population and position and planning in each state. Coming to other countries, they are also not lagging behind in the planning for the distribution of the Coronavirus vaccine. For example, the German Health Minister assured that by the end of the year if a Covid 19 vaccine is approved then the distribution will start immediately. Last week, in a G20 summit, all the 20 nations promised to work simultaneously. In order to ensure an equitable distribution of the Coronavirus vaccine.
The nations even vowed that the vaccine will reach the poorest and the most vulnerable population. On the other side, with the Coronavirus gaining shooting up in numbers, there are countries that are not desperate for the Covid 19 vaccine. According to the recent Ipsos poll, 73% of the world was in favor of vaccination; however, this number was 77% in summer. Furthermore, this poll study implied the desire for vaccination going down in 10 to 15 countries.
The Current Scenario
With 12 million cases, the US is leading in the number of Covid 19 cases; India is in the second position with 9 million cases, then Brazil with 6 million. In total, 58 million people suffered from the infection with the virus worldwide. More than 1.3 million lives are lost now in this pandemic, and 1/4th million of these losses were in the US. Hence, the Covid 19 vaccine is the need of the hour with the utmost desperation. The Coronavirus Vaccine development is the most important and the successful results of the trials, along with this, the planning for a fair distribution of the Covid 19 vaccine is equally important and the world leaders are indeed coming together in this task. We can only now hope for the efficacy of the Coronavirus vaccine and equitable distribution of the same throughout the world.