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When will the Covid-19 vaccine be available?

Countries around the globe are in a race to produce the first viable vaccine against Covid-19 which is expected to be available in 2021.

coronavirus scientists in the lab

The entire globe is at a standstill as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to take lives and force people away from each other. There are different projections as to when the Covid-19 vaccine will be available for mass production, and right now the World Health Organization is monitoring over 170 candidate vaccines in development worldwide.

Russia

Russia surprised the international medical community as they claimed to have approved the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine amid cynicism and warnings from scientists around the world. 76 people have been inoculated with this vaccine developed by Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow that was issued with a registration certificate by the country’s Ministry of Health.

The vaccine dubbed ‘Sputnik V’is said to have passed all necessary steps as declared by President Vladimir Putin, but it can only be used widely on January 1, 2021 and onwards after larger clinical trials are completed. Regulations in Russia, according to a researcher at an institute in Moscow, are easily bent, that is why international health experts have denounced it as premature, inappropriate, and unsafe.

USA

The U.S. government greenlighted the ‘Operation Warp Speed’ project which supports the development of several vaccines at an industrial scale via a US$8 billion grant to seven major laboratories. This is a huge effort to expedite the production and delivery of 300 million doses of a safe and effective vaccine to the Americans which is projected to happen in January 2021.

China

Experimental coronavirus vaccines have been doled out to groups with high infection risks in Mainland China since July. They were approved on June 24 as emergency use, but the guidelines are not made public.

Rest of the world

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca have partnered up with Oxford University in developing one of the international leading trials of Covid-19 vaccines. Another trial is being done at Imperial College London. Strong antibody responses in mild and asymptomatic COvid-10 cases which could deter virus spread for a long stretch of time are reported by scientists from US, Sweden, and elsewhere.

Philippines

The country will not be self-sufficient in terms of developing vaccines in a long while. In an official announcement from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the Philippines will receive a working coronavirus vaccine in the second quarter of 2021. President Rodrigo Duterte on the other hand has welcomed Russia’s vaccine announcement and is considering letting the country partake in its clinical trials while also vowing to get injected with the vaccine himself.

DOST Undersecretary and Chair of the sub-Technical Working Group on Vaccine Development said that a Virology Science and Technology Institute in the country is underway despite not having the facility to undertake a vaccine development research.

Optimism for vaccine availability in 2021

According to an infectious diseases specialist in the University of Virginia in the U.S., the patient recovers from the virus as it is cleared from the body 99% of the time. They have fewer chances of spreading it to other people in 10 days, so it is easier to make a vaccine for Covid-19 than it is for HIV which is more difficult for our immune system to combat.

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