It seems like yesterday only that we were waking up very reluctantly in the morning and dreading to commute to office and show the same productivity the we showed everyday, counting days till the weekend. Little did we know that our lives will be changed head to toe starting from our daily chores to daily leisure activities. Not really are we ready to accept the fact that it is going to be like this for the coming few dozens of months now.
COVID-19 did not take more than one month to spread within our countries and not more than three months to spread across the globe leaving its disastrous consequences like a huge wave of tsunami. At least the tsunami wave goes away, the way a wave functions. But how does this virus function? Top notch researchers of almost every nation are trying their whole minds out to this, to find out what really scares this virus away as no body has ever researched on this category of the virus family.
The most mind bugging question that arises on our minds is “What is it that is really taking the COVID-19 vaccine so long”?
Well, the first and foremost answer is the virus is exceptional. The most distinctive characteristic of this virus is that it keeps mutating and keeps finding new ways to attach itself to a new host. It has the presence of crown shaped spike proteins on its surface that attaches itself to the host membrane to allow the entry of the virus into the host cells. The virus belongs to the family of coronavirus. There have been previous coronavirus outbreaks in the past, such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-COV) in 2002, middle east respiratory syndrome (MERS-COV) in 2012. All of these viruses are severe respiratory diseases. COVID-19 is unique because of its symptoms and incubation period.
Possibility of an evolution
If the history of the corona virus is looked at, it has the capability of evolution. It has the ability to jump from one species to another, i.e., form bats to pangolins to humans. According to scientists, a virus undergoes mutation or changes, if their way to infection is hindered. It will find new hosts to infect, and accordingly change its ways. Time needs to be devoted to research in its evolutionary behaviour to steer clear of future pandemics.
Disease getting intensified due to anti bodies
The scariest part about making a vaccine is that it might enhance the disease that we are trying to prevent. Antibody formation is a defence mechanism of the body, but when they are formed against the self body tissues, they start damaging the self tissues, resulting in the disease. A vaccine contains inactive agents (called anitgens) from the virus or any micro-organism against which it is to be made, along with other chemicals, which act as preservatives. So the immune system can show adverse effects due to any of the above components.
Is the disease recurring?
What are the odds that the disease might re-occur after a few days or months or years. Which means even if the vaccine is injected, we need to wait to see if it really worked. Even if the viral infection does not return, it might return with some other symptoms after a while. A booster vaccine or treatment might be required to treat the after effects of the vaccine. The vaccine can also cause some side effects, which be even more agonizing than the COVID-19 symptoms. A vaccine strong enough to prevent the repossession of the virus over the immune system needs to come up.
Is the nation ready for the vaccine?
Supposedly the vaccine does get ready, how easily will it be available to us on an individual level? Weather the vaccine is global or not, it is going to take a certain period to get the supply chain efficient. First the factory, followed by warehousing, distribution, reach. Initially all the medical servants will be prioritized to the access of the vaccine, followed by the severe cases, then finally the pharmacy, retail store or online delivery. The vaccine must be distributed for a non profit cause, i.e almost free, till the pandemic lasts.
The show must go on without the vaccine
The most positive fact about getting the vaccine out is that we already have leads about the coronavirus family from the past. Scientists have already done their research on the nature of this virus before, only the research on this specific member “COVID-19” is still going on. A very important fact: a vaccine for AIDS is still not here yet, but we have learnt to head a life without it by coming up with treatments which can reduce its rate of spread and rate of mortality. Same can be done for COVID-19. Maybe a cutting off their crown shaped spikes off their heads would help for a change! But on a serious note, our full faiths on scientists and faith on prevention is the cure for the time being.