The wait is over for the Covid-19 vaccine and countries are starting their first vaccination trials around the world. While the world is in the midst of a Covid-19 pandemic, WHO has been working to develop a safe and effective vaccine. As a result, by December 2020, the FDA released documents reporting that the Pfizer vaccine gives full protection after a second dose. Excluding Pfizer, a handful of vaccines have been authorized around the globe. Many still remain under development. Furthermore, with vaccinations being carried out, expectations are high but unsteady.
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What is Covid-19?
Presently, WHO has confirmed that Coronavirus (Covid-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. While most people infected with the virus experience mild to moderate respiratory illness. Some recover without having to undergo special treatment. But for old people and individuals with pre-medical problems, the virus can become life-threatening. Furthermore, they can develop serious symptoms. It is easier for the virus to affect sick people than it is to affect healthy individuals.
Accordingly, having prior information helps in slowing down transmission. It can even prevent the spread of the virus. The Covid-19 virus spreads through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. It is important that every individual practice social distancing and respiratory etiquette. Such practices can help prevent the spread of the virus. And protect you from the illness until a vaccine has been found.
Covid-19 has claimed many lives. And as the death rates increase every day, WHO is rushing and working towards creating a vaccine. A vaccine that will help in slowing the effects and protect individuals from the virus.
Common symptoms of Covid-19:
- Dry cough.
Less common symptoms:
- Aches and pains.
- Sore throat.
- Loss of taste or smell.
- Rash on the skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes.
- Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Loss of speech or movement.
If you find yourself having any such symptoms, seek medical help. And always remember to call before visiting your doctor or healthcare facility.
Measures you can follow to prevent infection and slow the transmission of Covid-19:
- Wash your hands with soap and water. Use hand sanitizers and alcohol-based hand rub.
- Maintain at least a 1-meter distance between you and people coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your face as much as possible.
- Always cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Stay home if you feel unwell.
- Refrain from smoking and other activities that weaken the lungs.
- Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary travel and staying away from large groups of people.
Vaccines provide active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease. Vaccination has proved to be the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases around the world. Vaccines save millions of lives each year. For this reason, scientists are rushing to create and formulate a Covid-19 vaccine. This vaccine will be an achievement for the whole world. It will help stop the spread of the virus and reduce the death rate.
WHO has worked with individuals and organizations to speed up the pandemic response. COVAX which is led by WHO, GAVI, and CEPI, will assist in the accessibility and distribution of the vaccines. The first priority being the people most at risk. However, essential public health actions should be continued to suppress transmission and reduce mortality. The number of vaccines being tested has gradually narrowed down. COVAX currently has the world’s largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolio. It includes nine candidate vaccines. A further nine under evaluation and conversations underway with other major producers.
As of November 2020, the Pfizer vaccine was approved for emergency use. Which allows emergency marketing authorization for the vaccine. With the approval, more than 10 billion vaccine doses have been preordered by rich countries in December. The manufacturers of three vaccines closest to global distribution are Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca. They have predicted a manufacturing capacity of 5.3 billion doses in 2021. This estimation could be used to vaccinate about 3 billion people. The vaccines require two doses for a protective effect against COVID-19. There is a high demand for preorders from rich countries for 2021. This leaves people in low-income developing countries in a tight position. This situation, however, increases the use of the COVAX initiative to supply vaccines equitably.
Vaccination drives around the world
Vaccination drives are underway in different parts of the world. It won’t be long until every country proceeds to follow suit. With three vaccine candidates under regulatory review, India’s Union Ministry of Health has sent its operational guidelines. The states and Union territories are to distribute the vaccine when it becomes available. The document states that only 100 people will be vaccinated per session at each site per day. But the number is likely to rise up to 200 if logistics allow, as noted by the Centre.
The United States tops the list of the worst-hit countries. The country is also set to begin its Covid-19 vaccination drive as soon as the vaccine reaches all hospitals and sites. While Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that the first of many freezer-packed vaccine vials have arrived in the country. He urges all Canadians to continue wearing masks and avoid gatherings. With safety measures in check, countries are set to start their vaccination trials in full swing. Only time will tell and show the results of all the efforts given to the creation of the vaccine.