Since the number of coronavirus infections all over the world started skyrocketing, everyone has been asking the same question:
Reader: When will we be able to travel again?
No, not that one.
Weird reader: When will I be able to hug random strangers on the streets?
Not that one either. And who the heck is hugging strangers on the streets?
Smart reader: When will there be a vaccine?
Yes, that’s the one.
With a vaccine, Covid-19 infections will dwindle and we could return to normal life.
Bill Gates, creator of Windows and most famous school dropout, predicted that it could take around 18 months to have a vaccine readily available, a prediction many experts agreed with.
However, it may come much sooner than that.
China Says Vaccine Could Be Ready Before 2020 Ends As it Has Completed Phase II Tests
A Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccine could be available as soon as the end of 2020, China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC) said in a report.
The vaccine, jointly developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products and China National Biotec Group Co, has already completed Phase 2 testing, reported Bloomberg.
Over 2,000 people have already received the vaccines.
To put it simply, a vaccine needs to go through lots of trials to ensure that it’s safe because it’ll be given to almost everyone in the world.
Here are the phases involved once a vaccine is developed:
Phase 1: All retail shops will remain closed while-
Oh, sorry, wrong phase here.
Here are the correct phases:
Phase 1: Test on a few people to ensure it’s safe and also have the correct immune response
Phase 2: Test on hundreds of people, preferably in an area that is high-risk so that we’d know if it does protect the people after a period of time
Phase 3: Test on thousands of people to ensure it’s safe and it works after a period of time
Now, do note that we simplify the phases but you get the gist – it takes so long because we need to wait for the results after a period of time.
According to CNA, The Beijing Institute of Biological Products’ production line will be able to manufacture 100 million to 120 million doses every year.
More than 100 vaccines are being developed across the world, but only a few have made it to the final human clinical trial stage, like this one.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has promised to share any successful vaccine with the rest of the world, but meeting global needs would require massive production capabilities, according to Bloomberg.
Plus, there are some worries that rich countries might hoard these vaccines.
The World Health Organisation says it is working on a plan to ensure that vaccines are distributed equally, though no one knows how that would be enforced.
An Inactivated Vaccine
In case you don’t know, vaccines work by training the body’s immune system to fight off a disease it has not come into contact with before.
Vaccines are designed to prevent disease, rather than treat a disease once you’ve caught it.
You see, every time a virus or bacterium invades our beautiful bodies, our immune system has to fight it off.
But not everyone is strong enough to fight a virus off, of course. This is where vaccines come in.
A vaccine contains a weakened or killed form of the virus that causes a particular disease so that your immune system can easily fight it off and create antibodies, making you immune to the virus in the future.
This particular Chinese vaccine is an example of a killed or inactivated vaccine.
Inactivated vaccines have been used in the past to protect against diseases like polio and hepatitis.
If these vaccines are made available by the end of the year as expected, we could go back to working overtime at the office and drinking copious amounts of alcohol with our friends again.
Weird reader: What about hugging strangers on the streets?
Please stay in your house and never come out.