Vice President BRICS Generation (www.bricsgen.org)
Definitely the vaccine war is on to win the race to save humanity from corona pandemics pain and suffering. Every name and fame research labs and pharma companies jumped into the bandwagon to find the best vaccine at the quickest possible time conforming to the prescribed norms of vaccine trials. As of now no
codified data available on the line treatment given both of the dead and recovered.
To me how this virus spreads is still a question mark. I see many street vendors,
hawkers, and a tiny fishing hamlet inhabitant follow no SOP’s and look healthy. It is
also surprising a health and wealthy family which has not stepped out got corona.
Yet the virus need to be contained as it takes a toll in exponential proportion.
WHO in its conventional wisdom feeds tons of information through net and print.
It also hampers on time- bound trials (for safety) in the world which desperately
needs a vaccine fast. The world is in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. As
WHO and partners work together on the response –tracking pandemic , advising on
critical interventions, distributing vital medical supplies to the need –they are
racing to find a vaccine. The virus is giving them a tough time as they still in dark
to see light in the research rounds.There are currently over 169 COVID -19 vaccine candidates under development
with 26 of these in the human trial phase. Of the 26 (see list below), only eight
seem to have reached the human trials phase. WHO is working in collaboration with
scientists and global health organizations through ACT Accelerator to speed up the
pandemic response. When a safe and effective vaccine is found COVAX (led by
WHO, GAVI and CEPI) will facilitate the equitable access and distribution of these
vaccines to protect people in all countries. People most at risk will be prioritized.
The question is how much time it will take to make COVID-19 a vaccine-
preventable disease. Whichever firm out first with a proven safety vaccine for
corona, it will have a skyrocketing profit and fame. The race still on the blind alley.
In the midst of trial, turbulences, vested interests, fake news, and editorials,
Russia suddenly appeared on the competitive horizon with Sputnik V COVID -19
vaccine. The pharmaceutical firms, research institutions and scientists started
innumerable questions about the safety of the vaccine. Russia had a convincing
reaction to adverse publicity opinions. Naturally, it boasts that it is the first
country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine with mass vaccination in the first week of
October to approximately 40,000 people.
For Moscow, it is the winner of the global vaccine race. Reacting to all the queries
and doubts raised, Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, in
an exclusive interview to India Today channels assured that the vaccine is the
safest and will be delivered to India by mid- November. He also said that the
vaccine has received a registration certificate from the Russian Ministry of Health
on August 11 and under emergency rules adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic
can be used to vaccinate Russia. Mass production is expected to commence in
September 2020. How Russia got the vaccine first?
Unique substance of Sputnik V
The unique substance of the Sputnik V and method of using it has patent
protection in Russia obtained by the famous Gamaleya National Research Institute
of Epidemiology and Microbiology. The institute is the world’s leading institution
founded in 1891. The center runs one of the unique “virus libraries” in the world
and has its own production facility. The institute has also received an international
patent for the Ebola vaccine using an adenovirus vector.
Scientists from the Gamaleya Center have been working on adenoviral vector-based
vaccine since 1980’sand now lead the world in developing these types of vaccines.
Human adenovirus –based drugs have been widely used for over 50 years.
Adenoviral vectors are considered extremely safe and are some of the easiest to
engineer. Victors are viruses that have had the gene responsible for replication
removed. Therefore, they no longer pose any threat of infection. Scientists use
vectors to transport genetic material from a different virus –the one that is being
vaccinated against –into a human cell.Adenoviruses which are found in adenoids and
regularly cause acute respiratory infections have become the viruses that are most
commonly used to engineer vectors.
Another adenoviral vector- based vaccine against Middle East Respiratory
Syndrome (MERS) is in the advanced stages in clinical trials. Many other COVID-19
vaccine candidates also do use adenoviral vectors but none uses the two vector
platforms developed by the Gamaleya Center. The may be a USP for commercial
exploitation of the vaccine at a later stage.
After completing the experiments with different types of animals including 2
types of primates, phase 1 and 2 trials commenced in August 2020. All volunteers
reported hale and healthy. No adverse side effects are observed according to the
The vaccine induces strong antibody and cellular immune response. Not a single
participant in the current clinical trials got infected with COVID -19 after being
administrated with the vaccine. The high efficacy of the vaccine was confirmed by
high precision tests for antibodies in the blood serum of volunteers as well as the
ability of immune cells of the volunteers to activate in response to the spike S
protein of the Corona virus which indicates the formation of both antibody and
cellular immune vaccine response (from various reports of the Gamaleya Center).
Russia is confident of its vaccine and cannot afford to take chance with human
lives unless it is one hundred percent safe. Russia’s plan to go on a massive
immunization plan has received some positive responses from different countries.
UAE, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, India and Brazil will join the clinical trials of
Sputnik V locally.
Let us hope India would be the first to take the vaccine to the mass. Let us keep
our upper arm ready for a shot of vaccine from Russia with love.