COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Production to Increase by Billions in 2021
Due to the global spread of the COVID-19 and its deadly impact on human lives, the efforts to prepare COVID-19 vaccine have doubled throughout the world. The WHO on Thursday stated that it will be sending vaccine doses to the countries most impacted by the virus, by the end of this year.
It has been estimated that by 2020’s end a few hundred million COVID-19 vaccine doses could be produced and the production will soon increase to two billion by the end of next year. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, pharmaceutical firms throughout the world have been struggling to find a vaccine. The UN health agency’s announcement is a sigh of relief for people affected by the deadly disease.
Speaking on the topic, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said, “If we’re very lucky, there will be one or two successful candidates before the end of this year.” Three groups that are most in need of the first wave of COVID-19 vaccine are the front-line workers with high exposure, which includes medics and police officers; those most vulnerable to the disease, such as the elderly and diabetics; and people in high-transmission settings, such as urban slums and care homes.
Considering the order of exposure, the medicine’s export will start with the most vulnerable and later progressively vaccinate more people. But, this too will be possible only if the vaccine is tested. For now, the world does not have any vaccine that could cure the coronavirus disease.
A report suggests that an estimate total of 15 billion doses are needed to suppress the virus. Unlike the other viruses that mutate in certain key areas and alter the severity of the disease or the immune response in people, coronavirus showed no such symptoms.
For some time, hydroxychloroquine was treated as an alternative vaccine for COVID-19 patients. However, the WHO on Wednesday indicated to halt the drug’s trial on patients as it had no effect on reducing the mortality rate. Hydroxychloroquine is a decades old drug to treat malaria and rheumatoid arthritis.
Meanwhile, the opposition people are making efforts to establish it as an active COVID-19 vaccine. They are hopeful that it might have a role in prevention or minimising the severity in early infection. A recovery trial announced some positive results following dexamethasone’s intake in COVID-19 patients. The drug used in the treatment of rheumatic problems, skin disease, allergies, including respiratory diseases etc. showed improved survival rates of people on ventilators.
Though the WHO has not yet declared dexamethasone as a COVID-19 vaccine, it has suggested that the drug should be reserved for seriously ill and critical patients receiving COVID-19 treatment in a hospital setting. The trials to know more about the drugs and their impacts on the virus infected patients are still in continuation.
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