People have been talking about the need for a vaccine from the very moment the COVID-19 pandemic came into existence. Considering that it is the only move that can destroy the virus, top scientists from all around the world are trying to develop a vaccine. While a few countries are leading the race by entering human trials, things have not been finalised, and the stages of mass production have not begun. So to understand the current scenario and acknowledge all that is happening, here are the latest updates from the fight for a vaccine.
1. Brazil: The New Testing Ground
The Latin American nation of Brazil has been fighting an intense battle with COVID-19 as it is the second most affected country with more than 1,715,000 cases. The situation is worsening day by day with even President Jair Bolsonaro being tested positive on Tuesday, July 7. But on the other hand, the fight for a vaccine has been underway in Brazil, which is the primary global producer for yellow fever vaccines.
Top leaders from advanced vaccine projects will carry out Phase three tests. This will be the final move before the drug is approved in thousands of Brazilian volunteers. Considering the fact that both projects have technology transfer agreements, it will further enable the country to produce the vaccines themselves, if the tests prove to be effective. Phase three tests for the same began in June in Brazil and is currently under progress in countries like the UK and South Africa.
2. China at the Forefront
In terms of progress, the country that is thought to have brought the virus is well on schedule to bring out a cure. Yes, that’s right. China has been leading in the hunt for a vaccine by bringing its state, military and private sectors together. Sinovac Biotech’s experimental vaccine from the country is the world’s third to enter the final stage of testing. But the country has also been facing a few problems in this regard.
Its success in driving down the virus makes matters hard in conducting large-scale vaccine tails. Moreover, only a few countries have agreed to work with China. Due to that, one can never predict what’s going to happen, especially considering the past vaccine scandals that took place in Beijing.
3. India’s New Alarming Deadline
India’s first COVID-19 vaccine, COVAXIN has successfully entered human trials. But the aspect that surprised everyone was the country’s medical research team announcing that the vaccine will be ready by August 15 (Indian Independence Day). This particular deadline was highly criticised by the Indian Academy of Sciences, considering the time taken to conduct the final tests. Hence, later, the medical body has also come out stating that August 15 was not a deadline.