Ever since January 2021 when Vaccines for ensuring Protection [& not treatment] from getting infected with different Covid-19 virus strains were rolled in , we have come a long way wrt the Chaos & Concerns regarding Vaccination drives. Vaccines mainly stimulate the patient’s immune system against infectious agents like viruses or bacteria without causing any disease itself & include inactivated vaccines, toxoid vaccines, live attenuated vaccines, conjugate vaccines, recombinant vector vaccines, subunit vaccines and DNA vaccines.
Research for an Effective & safe Vaccine is a challenge due to IPR,Regulatory & Licencing Hurdles, Discovery/Innovation, Technology Transfer,Production, Storage & Distribution, Political & Financial & Religious influences.The Demand Supply mismatch – Population vis-a vis infrastructure to Produce, Package, store & distribute Vaccines ; state n Central FDA Misalignment has had a big toll on our Psychological health and well-being.
While the last year saw several concerns/ apprehensions wrt multiple Coronavirus strain(s) , their transmission modes & continuously mutating versions thereof which swept the entire world as several waves –the core problems were because of Symptomatic & Asymptomatic aspects of the infection ; different Symptoms in different individuals ; Comorbidity complications different Symptoms in different waves; wrong beliefs being spread & imposed.
Several Covid -19 vaccines with different modes of action came in & their effectiveness & safety was assimilated wrt various parameters namely initial performance- across diverse populations round the globe , With different & Multiple strains , with individuals of different Age groups, Immunities & with different co-morbidities , different side effects & Approval status by worldwide Regulatory Authorities for use in different geographical locations .
This included in India-AstraZeneca ‘s Covishield[Adenovirus-based technology]- can be stored, transported/ handled at normal refrigerated conditions for at least six months & administered within existing healthcare settings. India’s Bharat Biotech Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin [a highly purified and inactivated SARS-CoV-2 virus using Whole-Virion Inactivated Vero Cell platform technology] claiming 100% efficacy against severe infection was developed with seed strains from ICMR National Institute of Virology. It does not require sub-zero storage, no reconstitution requirement, is ready to use liquid in multi-dose vials, stable at 2-8 degrees C. Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine is also used in India.
So, to conclude, an ideal vaccine should have high immunogenicity and long lasting immunity as well as it should be heat stable, inexpensive, commercially available and affordable by maximum no. of people . It needs to be equally effective across a variety of different types of people and variables, including age, gender, race, ethnicity, and body mass index (BMI)—or presence of other medical conditions & on different strains or variants. The Specifics of Vaccines comprise of the Type/technology , Age group of individuals, Dosage/dosage regimen [ No. of shots, how any weeks apart] , Common side effects, , Efficacy at different doses in terms of percentage against mild, moderate and severe infection; against asymptomatic at preventing hospitalization or severe cases in people receiving it and death tolls.
Effective vaccines taken at intervals as advised by experts , resolving/managing the demand & supply issues coupled with Covid Appropriate behaviour – using Mask , Sanitizer, Gloves, PPE, etc ; observing Lockdowns, Awareness , Positive Mindset, Social Distancing ; avoiding political & religious influences has & will ensure reducing disease & deaths . The Average Global vaccination Rate was also impressive last year.
Rajni Jha IIT Kanpur Scholar Senior Pharmaceutical Scientist