The year of 2020 has been bleak and tough for all of us. Fortunately, the new year seems to bring in a lot of hope with all the vaccines for coronavirus. Before we understand how the vaccine is going to help us let us understand how the vaccines are approved.
The general developmental stages of the vaccine are as follows:
- Exploratory stage
- Pre-clinical stage
- Regulatory review and approval
- Quality control
Clinical development is a three-phase process. During Phase I, small groups of people receive the trial vaccine. In Phase II, the clinical study is expanded, and vaccine is given to people who have characteristics (such as age and physical health) similar to those for whom the new vaccine is intended. In Phase III, the vaccine is given to thousands of people and tested for efficacy and safety.
Many vaccines undergo Phase IV formal, ongoing studies after the vaccine is approved and licensed.
How is life going to change once the vaccine is rolled out?
Although people have begun to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, experts say we’re facing a long road with the virus. It will take a long time for the vaccine to have a pronounced effect while the pandemic persists.
Experts have warned that it’s a long road ahead with the virus. They say it will take a long time for the vaccine to have a pronounced effect while the pandemic persists. Dr. Timothy Brewer, a professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, said it’s important for us all to recognize that due to lags in vaccine production and high demand, there’ll be no “immediate change” in our society.
One of the biggest hurdles is going to be its production, storage and distribution. In a country like India, with a population of 1.3 billion people it’s nearly impossible to vaccinate everyone at the same time. It is going to be followed by a booster or a second dose after which the vaccine will be effective. Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires “ultracold storage” — at -70°C — you need facilities with minus -80°C freezers. Experts warned of increasing infections once the vaccine is rolled out.
If one gets vaccinated, are they protected from the virus?
To cut it short, we don’t have enough data to figure that out. It can be disheartening to hear that after a difficult year when the pandemic has resulted in mass deaths and ever-increasing infection rates, the vaccine doesn’t provide “a quick fix.”
In a nutshell, this means that the same preventive protocols that we all should’ve been following over the course of the past year — from physical distancing to wearing protective masks — must still be adhered to.