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KT edit: Rushing up the vaccine

Filed on September 2, 2020

In the last eight months countries have entered the vaccine 'space race', broken all vaccinology records, and changed the economics of vaccine development

At a time when the number of Covid-19 infections are spreading thick and fast, and many countries in Europe and Asia are showing signs of a second wave, the news of US drug regulator considering to give emergency authorisation to a Covid-19 vaccine offers some reassurance. Scientists around the world are working against the clock and we could well see a vaccine for Covid-19 in the next few months. But are corners being cut for the sake of political gain and profit? Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist at the World Health Organization, has warned that authorising a vaccine too early, and doing it with too little data could create a raft of problems. What if this vaccine has low efficacy or triggers adverse side effects among different populations later? Come to think of it, research and development phase of a vaccine usually takes about two to five years and it can take up to 10 years for a drug to fully develop. All this is being crammed into few weeks.
In the last eight months countries have entered the vaccine 'space race', broken all vaccinology records, and changed the economics of vaccine development. In a world where vaccine hesitancy is on the rise, we can only hope that pharmaceutical companies undertake enough tests and trials and introduce a product that reinforces our trust in modern medicine and not dent it.but still get it to the market swiftly.

 


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