The on going pandemic caused by Coronavirus ( Covid-19 ) has caused the world to come to a standstill. Deaths, economic losses among others are the consequences of this pandemic that is still largely on the increase. Questions about ways to curtail the spread of Coronavirus have formed the majority of public discuss in recent times. One of which is the development of a vaccine.
In time past, myriads of deadly viral diseases including smallpox, polio, rubella, mumps have been contained by vaccination. In this article, we will examine the concept of vaccine production and the progress made so far in developing a Coronavirus vaccine.
A simple definition of a vaccine is a product that confers immunity from a disease when taken either orally, inhaled or administered through injections.
Vaccines are made primarily from an inactive or weakened version of the same bacteria or virus responsible for the infection it has been created to prevent. Our immune system produces antibodies to help us fight illnesses when we get sick. Some of these antibodies are stored as memory cells so that when the body encounters the same illness in future, it will quickly eliminate it. Vaccines weaponize our immune systems by imitating the virus or infection in question, so that the immune system will be prompted to produce antibodies thereby having memory cells to prevent future infection by the same virus or bacteria.
Vaccines have proven to be very effective and life saving. However, it takes years to fully develop a tested and trusted vaccine. However, currently, researchers hope to achieve the amount of work it takes to develop a vaccine in only a few months. Most experts forecasts a vaccine for the Coronavirus is likely to become available by mid-2021.
The research for a Covid-19 vaccine is happening at high speed around the world. About 80 different groups are researching vaccines and some started entering clinical trials last month.
The first human trial for a vaccine was announced in March by scientists in Seattle. However, they are skipping some vaccine development stages such as testing with animals to determine its safety or effectiveness.
Some other vaccines under development have made significant progress, but no-one know how effective any of these vaccines will be.