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What Are The Options For Coronavirus Vaccine In Asia?

Dr. Hira Tanveer

3 min read

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As the cases of the coronavirus continue to escalate, the world prays for some medical intervention that could save them. An unprecedented global pandemic, coronavirus has had people all over the world struggle for their lives. Due to the pervasiveness of the virus, its high probability of transmission, and the novelty of the virus, it has been nearly impossible to control the spread of the disease. 

Hence, the only source of hope for ending this pandemic is discovering the vaccine. Scientists all over the world have been researching for over 6 months now, trying to resolve the global crisis. However, creating vaccines is a very time-consuming exercise. Since the virus is unlike other seen by the scientists, the processes have been complicated by a great degree. 

New Vaccines are in the pipeline

Many attempts are being made globally to prepare a vaccine as soon as possible. Not that it is without challenges of its own. To have a successful vaccine, it is important to deeply study the sort of immune response generated in the body, the mutability of the virus, etc. Hence, while the clinical trials are being held the world over, but the protocols and complications are far too many. 

Due to the gravity of the situation, the World Health Organization has made the appeal for scientists to share information. It is hard for laboratories everywhere to start from scratch. It is therefore great news that research regarding COVID-19 is being readily made available, as it a matter of global concern. 

Coronavirus vaccine in Asia is on its way

After North American countries, the countries in Asia have suffered most from the coronavirus. Some racist slurs have also emerged from this pandemic, whereby, people have termed it as an ‘Asian’ or ‘Chinese’ virus. Despite this, scientists have been toiling very hard to provide the much-needed breakthrough by making coronavirus vaccine in Asia. 

Chinese Scientists are hard at work

Since the virus originated in China, hence, Chinese scientists had a head start in researching the disease and thus have a greater wealth of information. 18% of the trials are being conducted in China alone. Needless to say, China at the forefront of the creation of the coronavirus vaccine in Asia. 

Sinopharm, a Chinese pharmaceutical company has entered its third phase of the trials. It is working in collaboration with the respective Emirati companies and government. The company has earmarked sometime the end of this year to absolutely ready the vaccine by. However, unfortunately, according to WHO, the vaccine cannot be used before early next year. 

Likewise, CanSino Biologics is also working with a renowned scientist to make the groundbreaking vaccine. 

India might just have a solution for the world

Much like its neighbors, India has also suffered a great deal on account of the virus. Both in terms of the number of cases and the monetary losses, the ramifications have been great. Hence, India is also in the lead for discovering the coronavirus vaccine in Asia.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, one of the leading Indian facilities is holding multiple clinical trials in their search for the vaccine.  A promising one is Covaxin, and the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has allowed 11 more facilities to hold controlled clinical trials. 

However, some people are concerned about the time limit imposed on the trails. According to DW, ICMR has instructed the hospitals to ensure that the vaccine is ready to use by 15, August, which does not give the scientists enough time to bring a well-researched vaccine to the patients. 

The pharmaceutical force behind the trials is Bharat Biotech. Initially, around 300 people are being treated with the vaccine, whereas later, 700 more people will be added to the pool of the patients being trialed and tested. 

Despite the qualms with the timeline, Indian pharmaceuticals are an old hat at making vaccines. India is the biggest producer of vaccines all across the world.  Bharat Biotech has already produced the vaccine for rotavirus; hence the expectations are high. 

Similarly, Serum Institute of India, a vaccine production company, also has partnered up with researchers from Oxford University. Together they are endeavoring to produce vaccination for COVID-19. 

Rest of the Asian countries 

Japanese companies, like FujiFilm Holdings,  are working day and night to introduce the world to COVID-19’s vaccine. However, some experts do believe that Japan would be able to make much better progress if it worked around the usual protocols, as the circumstances are not usual. Japanese are very cautious about vaccinations and hence follow more convoluted protocols; the entire world is halted, and an intervention is needed rather urgently!

South Koreans are also hard at work to make the vaccine. The Korean company, Genexine Inc., has also started clinical trials, the first phase of which includes 40 patients. Indonesia is also on board with this venture. 

Suffice to say, many Asian countries are working on their own, and are also collaborating with other countries to make the vaccination as soon as humanly possible, considering the constraints involved. 

The vaccine is just the start

Due to the politics between the USA and China over the virus, the stakes are rather high, other than the obvious one of course. Moreover, producing the vaccine is just the start, there are other many stages to it. The production, distribution, pricing, accessibility are some of the issues that surround vaccination production. 

Even though vaccines are in pipeline, we are far from being free of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you or a loved are suffering from coronavirus symptoms, you should get a test at your earliest. You can book a COVID-19 test via oladoc.com or by calling at 042-38900939.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Hira Tanveer
Dr. Hira Tanveer - Author Dr. Hira Tanveer is an MBBS doctor and currently serving at CMH Lahore. Writing is her favorite hobby as she loves to share professional advice on trendy healthcare issues, general well-being, a healthy diet, and lifestyle.

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