Covid vaccine soon

Hope floats with Oxford varsity’s breakthrough

Covid vaccine soon

Photo for representational purpose only

So desperately awaited has been this piece of good news that one could almost hear the whole world collectively heave a sigh of relief at the cautious promise of Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine being round the corner. With the initial phase III trials of humans showing positive results, the huge hope for an early end to the deadly Covid-19 disease surged, bringing cheer to the desolate hearts, even as scientists and virologists talked of keeping their fingers crossed for everything progressing smoothly, without hitting a hitch. Optimism held sway as 23 vaccines more were reported to be readying for human trials and 140 other vaccine candidates lined up not too far behind. Both the healthy and the infected have signed up for the trials in a valiant bid to defeat the raging coronavirus that has since late 2019 infected nearly 1.45 crore people and killed over six lakh, as also ravaged the economy in its wake.

With the world watching the accelerated programmes with bated breath, on display is the marvel of science and human endeavour. The Oxford vaccine, like the Chinese shot developed in late June, has been designed to safely (with no serious side-effect) protect a person from the virus by prompting an immune response in the body by making antibodies (to attack the coronavirus and disable it) and T-cells (to help the immune system trace the infected cells in the body and destroy them).

However, despite the encouraging findings at this early stage auguring well, one can only hazard a guess when conclusive evidence of the efficacy of the injection to halt the disease and its transmission will be available. The test of time is crucial and critical. But, hearteningly, the pharmaceutical firms associated with the vaccine developers are girding up for mass production. On this score, India can hope to be one of the earliest beneficiaries as Oxford has partnered with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India for making the vaccine. Plus, our indigenous vaccine, Covaxin, helmed by AIIMS, is on an accelerated mode of testing. The waiting game is not over, yet.

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