If the news story from the WhatsApp University gave you a breath of relief, my sincerest apologies beforehand because it was nothing but “do pal ki khushi.” If not WA University, I’m sure you must’ve heard it on the television. That news story of the vaccine being our country’s 74th birthday gift to “bharat vaasi”, reached the doorstep of every citizen within minutes.
Here’s when I tell you how I managed to decipher the real reason why the “wrong” story was heard everywhere. One fine day, one human came across a news article with a few highlighted keywords, they were “Corona Vaccine“, “Covaxin – Bharat Biotech”, “15th August.” And he connected the dots, shared his story to another human. This human shared to it two others, and so on, and so forth. Half knowledge is always dangerous. What an official of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) “envisaged”, was beautifully misinterpreted into a little ball of sunshine and hope for all of us.
“Unfeasible” and “Unrealistic” are the words used by Indian scientists when they received the news, and why wouldn’t they? Since a vaccine usually takes years to develop. No doubt the official has an optimism-filled expectation keeping in mind the uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic, however, it’s a race that has just begun. Let’s have a look at all the candidates participating in this vaccine race.
At the first position, we have Covaxin which has been developed by Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with the ICMR and National Institue of Virology, Pune; it has also successfully stepped foot in human trials which will be beginning next week with 1100+ participants. To know more about Covaxin.
Next up, we’ve Zydus Cadila – a Hyderabad based pharmaceutical company, has also secured its clearance, to begin with, human trials. Their prototype ZyCOV-D has been developed with the collaboration of multiple teams across India and Europe. Only time will tell us whether these companies decide to “fast track” their way through the trials, to speed up the process at the cost of our lives or not.
Apart from these two companies with the approval to conduct human trials, we’ve six more companies in India, trying to develop a vaccine against a virus that has infected 11+ million humans across the globe. While we’ve been worrying about our work from home issues, or our workout-deprived lifestyle, there are scientists and researchers constantly trying put together pieces of the most complicated jigsaw puzzles of all time.