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The Journey of Vaccine: Stages of Testing

Have you pondered over the question of the advent of vaccine in the market? Have you wondered what are the things that a vaccine has to pass in order to be declared a successful candidate? If you have answered yes to these questions, this article is a pot of gold for you. The whole world is struggling to find a vaccine to defeat coronavirus. For this purpose, several countries and researches are putting their head and heart into developing a successful vaccine for this virus. Many companies have started trials of the vaccine. Let us have a look at some of the most successful candidates as of now:

1. ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 by the University of Oxford- One of the most successful candidates is the one developed by the prestigious University of Oxford. A single vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 induced a humoral and cellular immune response in rhesus macaques," the researchers said. India has developed the same vaccine and it is in Phase-III trial being conducted in Maharashtra.

2. Covaxin by Bharat Biotech- Covaxin is developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and National Institute of Virology. The vaccine is in the Phase-II trial. Indicating that Covaxin is safe, a highly placed source told ‘The Express’ that there had been no complaint from the persons who were administered the vaccine.

3. AstraZeneca- AstraZeneca is a renowned pharmaceutical company across the world. It is also working day and night to develop a vaccine. The potential vaccine has entered its final trial in Brazil, with studies ongoing in the UK and South Africa. On a media call, AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot said: “The vaccine development is progressing well. We have had good data so far. We need to show the efficacy in the clinical programme, but so far, so good.” The vaccine is going through Phase-II trials.

Once the research is done and expectations are made about the positive result of any vaccine, the next step is the testing of that vaccine on individuals to make sure whether it is up to the mark or not. So, let us have a look at the procedures for testing.

1. Phase-I Trials- Phase one trials usually involve a small size of individuals to be testes, that is the sample varies from 20 to 80. The goals of this phase are to ensure whether the vaccine candidate is safe to use, and to determine the type and extent of the response, an individual will provoke. If this stage is successfully administered and positive results are shown then, the vaccine will proceed to the next step.

2. Phase-II Trials- In phase two trials, the sample is larger that is it includes several hundreds of people. It is based on random selection. The goals of this phase are to check the doses of vaccines, methods of delivery, and immunogenicity of the vaccine. Successful candidate moves to the next phase.

3. Phase-III Trials- In phase three trials, the sample is larger than before. It includes thousands of people. The goals of this stage are to assess the safety of a vaccine in a large group of people, and to check the efficiency of vaccines. Side-effects of vaccines are also taken care of in this stage.

4. Approval- Once a vaccine candidate passes phase three trials, they have to submit a License Application to get one. The inspection will be done by the agencies and once it is approved, a license can be received to move ahead.

Vaccines are manufactured and tested in a method very similar to that of other drugs. They are even more thoroughly tested than non-vaccine drugs. To read more about this topic, check approval of vaccines.

Why Are Countries Rushing to Make a Vaccine Before Others?

1. Diplomatic Reasons- Perhaps, we live in a world today where every nick and corner of this globe is connected. Hence, decisions and things happening in one part of the world have a considerable impact on the other part of the world. All the countries want to be powerful on international fora. They want their name to be called before others. This pandemic is in fact a great opportunity for countries to move ahead of others and defeat their rivals by developing a successful vaccine.

2. Welfare of Others- This pandemic has led to deep losses in every single part of the world. Countries are struggling to find the solution of this but it is still to be done. The solution to this is a vaccine. If a country is able to develop a successful vaccine, then it will impact the life of the whole world positively and will the position of the manufacturing country on the global forum. In this way, they will be able to help humanity.

3. Revenue- Though it is not a primary reason, countries look forward to earn a considerable amount of revenue of the vaccine they will develop. In the times of pandemic, the economy of all the nations is struggling, finding ways to be on the track as soon as possible. There is perfectly elastic demand for vaccine whereas supply is not there as of now. Hence, the buyers will not negotiate much on the price of a vaccine.

One can get an idea of how statesmen like Donald Trump is willing to get a vaccine developed by their country: “We are marshaling America's scientific genius to produce a vaccine in record time," Trump said. "We will have a safe and effective vaccine this year and together we will crush the virus”. Many other leaders are responding in a similar manner.

The Gates Foundation has committed $250 million to the fight against Covid-19. Vaccine distribution must be based on the principle of equity and not on bidding. Once a vaccine is successfully administered in trials, the Gates Foundation will be holding the responsibility of distributing the vaccine to millions of people.

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