COVID-19 Vaccine Update
Greetings friends! There has been some big news on the Covid-19 vaccine update and I would like to tell you about the same in this article today.
There are some great news friends. Compared to what scientists had expected, this vaccine has turned out to be far more effective and is under development as of today. And the pace with which the work is being done on these vaccines, it is expected that common folk would be able to get it soon.
But there are many questions that arise here? By exactly which date would we be able to get these vaccines? What are their side effects? And how effective would they turn out to be?
Which country will get it first?
Let’s try and know about these things today in this article.
What a vaccine really is?
What a vaccine really is? How does it work? And what are the different types of vaccines?
We had already explained these things in the last vaccine article. You can read it here on Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine.
We have also told you that there are Phase 1, Phase, 2, and Phase 3 trials whenever a vaccine is being developed. In Phase 1, it tested upon a few people. It is tested upon a few hundred people, in Phase 2. It is tested upon thousands of people, in Phase 3.
In July, Phase 3 trials of many vaccines were about to begin.
Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Update
In the USA, there are four potential candidates for the covid-19 vaccine update that is under development. Leading them all is the vaccine being developed by a company named Moderna. Their human trials started in March itself. They had planned to start Phase 3 of their clinical trial by July 9th. It was to be conducted on 30,000 individuals.
According to the latest covid-19 vaccine update news, the Phase 3 trials have been delayed a bit. Moderna finally began the Phase 3 trial of their vaccine on 27th July in which 30, 000 volunteers participated.
On 16th November, they announced the preliminary analysis of this trial. It was found in this analysis that their vaccine is 94.5% effective.
What does this mean? So, the 30,000 volunteers were roughly divided into two. They were split in half such that 15000 are on one side and the rest 15000 is on the other side. One group was administered the vaccine and the other group was not given the vaccine.
Instead, they were given a placebo i.e. a fake vaccine so that if there is any psychological impact of taking the vaccine then that could be neutralized. It was found that out of 30,000 people, 95 people got infected with Covid-19 and out of these 95 people, 90 took the placebo and only 5 people took the vaccine shot.
So, now you can comprehend how effective this vaccine was.
Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Update
The second vaccine on which the world is counting on is Pfizer vaccine being made in Germany. They completed their Phase 3 trial on 43,000 people and found their vaccine to be having an efficacy of 95%.
The good news that they found out that the efficacy does not go down a lot in older people. They found out that the efficacy of the vaccine is 94% even for people aged 65 and above. This is great news because people were expecting the vaccine to be not as effective on the elderly.
But both Moderna and Pfizer have one problem Both of these have been made in such a way that it requires being in “deep freeze” in order to store them specifically it is required to be stored in -70degree Celsius. So, the transportation of the vaccine is going to be a big problem logistically.
Logistics experts say that in India at present, there is a facility of storage till a maximum of -40 degree Celsius. So, if the storage of the vaccine is made possible at even -25 degree or -17 or even -30 then it could be managed. But if it really requires -70 degree Celsius storage then a new cold storage facility would be needed to be built in the country.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update In India
News is that the government has already started preparing for its cold storage, transportation by using airline services. Hopefully, there won’t be much of an issue in logistics in the future if the preparations are already underway.
Any vaccine has side effects too. On the basis of how severe or how dangerous the side effects are, we can judge how safe it is get vaccinated. The good news is that in both these vaccines of Moderna and Pfizer, no life threatening side effects have been found.
However, many mild side effects have surfaced. It was found in Moderna’s trial that 9.7 % participants experienced fatigue, 8.9% experienced muscle pain, 5.2% experienced joint pain while 4.5% experienced headache.
The percentage of Pfizer’s vaccine was a little lesser. Such that 3.8% of people experienced fatigue, 2% experienced headache while 2% experienced fever. In other words, if you get vaccinated then there is a 2% chance that you will have a fever because of it. This can be broadly assumed.
Talk between Dhruv Rathee & Dr. Gagandeep Kang
In order to understand these things in detail, let’s see a talk with one of India’s top leading doctors and vaccine experts Dr. Gagandeep Kang.
“Till now what we know is that if you get yourself a vaccine injection then you may experience pain at the point of injection. You may also have a fever for a day or two. You might not feel good. But later on, you would feel fine. We haven’t seen any other side effects as of yet but we will continue monitoring.
But for me, long term side effects are a big question. In the development of all these vaccines, no side effects are being monitored for a long period of time in a hurry to develop the vaccine as soon as possible.
-In my mind, this question arises because no one has done long-term testing then, What if someone who has been administered the vaccine experiences deadly side effects after two years that become life-threatening? This is what I am afraid of if the vaccines are being developed so soon.
-When we look at the development of a vaccine and its safety is to be considered, FDA has said that we will not even review a vaccine unless two months of safety data are shown. All the companies have been told to bring the data on the efficacy of the vaccine but you must also bring at least two months’ data on the safety of the vaccine.
And why should the safety data of at least two months be considered? The safety data is to be considered for two months because the side effects of the vaccine become visible within 6 weeks.
Side effects of vaccine
-Okay. So, normally, we get to know the effects in 6 weeks?
-All the side effects we have seen till now, the reasonably common side effects have become apparent within 6 weeks.
-So what if the vaccine gets approved before that and it is being said that people can get vaccinated even then I would be scared to get the vaccine. What if something happens in a year or two?
-If something like this happens then it will be a very rare side effect. When we get a polio vaccine…the polio drops, in 2.5 million cases of vaccination, you will get one child with polio
-Okay, so this is how to effect…
-This is how rare it is! This is how rare it is! There are side effects but it is very rare.
-So, if I look at it from an individual’s perspective, for the safety of others, it becomes necessary for me to get vaccinated as well.
Personal Benefit of Vaccine
-But there is a personal benefit of the vaccine that we would not get infected by Covid-19 if we were administered the vaccine, right?
-95% efficacy! Who should get the vaccine first? There are a lot of debates regarding this. Most of people believe that first and foremost, the vaccine should be given to frontline health workers; the people who are saving other people by risking their own lives.
Whether the vaccine should be administered to the elderly first or to young healthy individuals first, is also a topic of discussion. On the face of it, you will say that the elderly are more at risk and there is a higher threat to their life therefore they should get the vaccine.
On the other hand, people argue that the young healthy individuals meet more people, travel more, and are asymptotic i.e. they don’t know that they are infected and they are spreading it unknowingly. So, if young people get the vaccine first then the spread of infection might be contained first.
The argument of the other side is quite simple too if the elderly get the vaccine first then maybe if they are at risk and we will be able to save more lives. This is on an individual level.
But a more interesting question is which countries will get the vaccine first? Is it possible that rich countries will spend more money and buy these vaccines for their citizens first and the poorer countries will get the vaccines later?
Which country will get vaccine first?
-Which country will get it first, how is that decided?
-Many countries have made advance purchase commitments. They have paid the companies and have said that while we don’t know yet whether their vaccines will work or not but if their vaccines are effective.
And they do get the license eventually then they will buy 100 or 200 million doses from them. This is a risk that countries take. They do not know which vaccines will get the license and when will they get the license, right?
Advance purchase commitments give them a sense of security that whenever it will be supplied, it will be supplied to them first. What the US has done is that…it has a population of 300 million and they have made an advance purchase commitment of 800 million doses.
-Okay, for which vaccine?
-Many of them! They have bought six vaccines.
-Okay, so many of them…?
-Yes, so that even if one or two of them does not work out, there will be enough doses for their population. In India, we have an advantage in that our vaccine companies account for 40% of the global supply. If vaccines do get manufactured then they will be manufactured in India and it will be supplied to us as well.
Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation
We will get the supply from our vaccine companies and there is another facility which is a joint effort of WHO, GAVI, and another organization called CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation), which is developing vaccines and have come up with the COVAX facility and they have committed to buying 2 billion dosses and distributing it to 92 countries globally by the end of 2021.
And in these countries, 20% of the population will get vaccines from the COVAX facility. And India is one of these 92 countries. So, it is COVAX’s commitment that 20% of our population will get vaccines from COVAX only.
Why India has not made any advance purchase yet?
-Okay. But India has not made any advance purchase yet?
-As of yet, I am unaware of any advance purchase. But we will get 20% from COVAX. After that, we will have to see that the companies which are manufacturing the vaccines, how much of it will they supply in India itself?
-The government will fund these companies! The government has said that they have kept aside the money to pay for vaccines.
-Will it be available to everyone for free in India? What are its chances?
-All the vaccines that come under the national programme are free.
-All are free.
-The 12 vaccines that are administered in India are given free of cost. So in most of countries, the government will pay the companies while the citizens will get the vaccine for free. This is what should happen because this is public health.
Who should get vaccinated?
-You are getting vaccinated for yourself and for the community.
At the point of time when I am making this video friend, there are a total of 12 vaccines that are under Phase 3 trials in the entire world at present. Six vaccines have already gotten early approval and are in limited use.
All these six vaccines are either in China, Russia, or UAE. On 11th August, Russian President Putin had announced that their Russian healthcare regulator has already approved a vaccine named SPUTNIK-5.
The vaccine was approved even before its Phase 3 trials began. I have also read that some vaccines in Russia and China have already been approved for limited use.
-Yes…so…I actually don’t agree with this. If you look at Gamaleya’s Russian vaccine then their vaccine got the license when only 39 people were administered the vaccine in Phase 1 and Phase 2.
-This is not the correct way It just creates mistrust of vaccines.
-This shouldn’t be done. Okay. So, despite a trial on 40,000, the vaccine hasn’t been approved yet and they gave a limited approval in 39 only. So, geopolitics is underplayed as well.
They want to put themselves before everyone else here. This is what is happening. Something similar has happened in China as well. But we should not do this. By which probable date can we say everything will go back to normal? The big vaccination programs, immunization programs take years to conduct.
How many years it took for the vaccine to develop?
How many years it took for the vaccine to develop and finally for it to be made accessible to the common folk.
-All the companies have already started manufacturing before the trial results are out. This is called “at-risk manufacturing”. We don’t know whether these vaccines will work or not.
But if our results are favorable then whenever we get the license, we can supply the vaccine. 50 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna are ready as of now. The license has not been issued yet but the doses are ready.
How soon can the license be issued if everything is on track?
-How soon can the license be issued if everything is on track…everything is on time?
-It will be issued next month. Some people will get immunization next month but this is trickled. After this, other vaccines will be licensed, and by the middle of 2021, we will see many vaccines. Almost 3,4,5 vaccines will be licensed and their supply will be rolled out.
When will Indian people get the vaccine?
– By the middle of 2021, you think that people in India too will start to get the vaccines?
-They will definitely get it! The Indian government is already expecting that by July 2021, they will get 400-500 million doses of the vaccine.
Consequently, 20-25 crore people will be vaccinated in India by July 2021. But when should herd immunity start working i.e. we will be able to administer this vaccine to 80% of people in India? -… end of 2022, most likely…because this vaccine will be given in phases.
It will not necessarily be one vaccine… it could be 2-3 products in the program probably. So, it will take some time…but by the end of 2022, I think we should have most of the country immunized.
Informative or not?
Hopefully, friends that you found the article to be quite informative. If you like it then share it with your friends and family so everyone has the information that by when can we expect what vaccine.
The full interview with Dr. Gangdeep like always is available for Patreon and YouTube members. You can exclusively access it there. Watch the video of Dr. Gangdeep and Dhruv Rathee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWws30Z6yo4
This artcile was fully taken from Dhruv Rathee Youtube Video. So, If you want to watch the full video then consider the link I have mention above in the paragraph.
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