The development of the COVID-19 vaccine is underway worldwide and will be the only measure with guarantees to end the pandemic, remove us from confinement and restore health and economic “normality”.
For it, the world looks at India, describes a BBC article that gives us an overview of the status of the COVID-19 vaccine, its development and arrival times. India is the world’s largest manufacturer of generic drugs and vaccines in the world, producing millions of doses against polio, meningitis, pneumonia, rotavirus, BCG, measles, mumps, and rubella, among other diseases.
Now half a dozen Indian companies are developing vaccines against the virus that causes Covid. One of them is Serum Institute of India, the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world by quantity of doses produced and sold worldwide. Now, the firm has teamed up with Codagenix, a US biotech company, to develop a “live attenuated” vaccine, among the more than 80 reported in development worldwide. It should be noted that the United States and India have had an internationally recognized joint vaccine development program for more than three decades.
“We are planning a set of animal tests [en ratones y primates] of this vaccine in April. By September, we should be able to start human trials, ”explains the head of a company that has also partnered to mass produce a vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and supported by the UK government.
The COVID-19 vaccine, a fight against the clock
The COVID-19 vaccine is well advanced for what are usually the terms for such development. The global health and economic crisis forces, although there are deadlines that cannot be skipped so that the remedy is not even worse than the disease.
A month ago, the Chinese government authorized human clinical trials of an experimental development classified as “successful” by the scientific group that investigated it, led by a reputed genetic engineering specialist who created a medical aerosol for the SARS outbreak in 2003 and the Ebola vaccine in China. And there are dozens of research groups working on it around the world.
As important as the development of an effective and safe vaccine is the production capacity of these and this is where Indian manufacturers have a great advantage over other countries. Only the Serum Institute of India firm has the capacity to produce between 400 to 500 million doses. “It is quite clear that the world will need hundreds of millions of doses. It would be ideal if they were available by the end of this year, to end this pandemic and get us out of the confinement, “explain the researchers.
Although we must clarify that we are still far from it and that we still do not know the behavior of this COVID-19 that has changed our lives, there are hopeful notes. Preliminary research suggests that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, is relatively slow to mutate, meaning that any vaccine developed to prevent infection should be widely effective in geographically separated populations and for a relatively long period of time.
Remember that COVID-19 is a specimen from the coronavirus group and they can mutate very quickly. The extreme example we have in the Standard, Seasonal, and Extremely Mutant Flu, which is why every year you have to develop a new vaccine against it. Also, it is not always effective, because the researchers do not know every mutation in detail and have to go ahead to have the vaccines before the new outbreak.
From what we know so far, the differences between samples of the virus analyzed they were very small in terms of genetic variation, indicating that the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus remains quite stable even after long transmission across multiple individuals, regions, and elapsed time.