Who will win the Vaccine war?

V.V.S.Manian

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 Vaccines

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

institute.

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.

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