Coronavirus vaccine & its reality

by Dr Mariam Imran

What is coronavirus? Now we all know it well. Even children have come know about this deadly virus but currently nobody is willing to take precautions; why?

Being a Muslim and then a Pakistani, it is our first and foremost duty to support the government and follow the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to prevent its spread.

As we all know that smart lock down has been imposed in many areas of Lahore bringing a lot of trouble to the people out there. So, we all need to take precautions to overcome this disease because if we remain failed in breaking the chain of transmission of the virus, the results will be horrible.

People are looking forward to some miracle expecting pharmaceuticals companies to launch some vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 but vaccines typically require years of research and testing before reaching the clinics and pharmacies. But keeping in view the intensity and gravity of the situation, the scientists are racing to produce a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine by the next year; 2021.

The status of all the vaccines, along with a selection some best vaccines that are being used for trials in human beings, is that they are still being tested at animals.

So far, at least confirmed 88 preclinical vaccines are in active development for the treatment of coronavirus however these vaccines may potentially prevent the infection beforehand but they cannot cure the disease once somebody falls a prey to it.

In the meantime, China and Russia have approved the vaccines for human beings without waiting for the results of Phase 3 trials. Experts say that the rushed process in approving a vaccine for human beings may cause serious risks. There are health regulators in every country to review the trial results and decide either a vaccine might be approved or not.

In emergency situations, like during a pandemic, a vaccine may receive emergency use authorization before getting formal approval. Once a vaccine is licensed, researchers continue to monitor the people who receive it to make sure if it is safe and effective. If investigators observe worrying symptoms in the volunteers, they put the trial on pause. After a thorough investigation, the trials may be resumed or be abandoned.

All we should do as socially responsible beings is that either a vaccine is resumed or abandoned; we should not lose hope and keep following the prescribed and suggested precautions to avoid catching that particular disease.

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