2021 is here and perhaps the most awaited thing of this new year is a good vaccine for the deadly Pandemic Covid-19. If not mistaken, vaccine is one of the most frequently discussed topics of the last few months and it is expected to remain in discussion for some more time to come. A vaccine can be defined as a biological substance designed to protect humans from infections caused by bacteria and viruses. Vaccines are also called immunizations because they take advantage of our natural immune system’s ability to prevent infectious illness. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing micro-organism and is often prepared from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins. The administration of a vaccine is called vaccination. Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases. Widespread immunisation resulting from vaccination is largely responsible for the worldwide eradication of a deadly disease like Small pox. Thus at this juncture, when the world is reeling under the threat of the fatal Pandemic Covid-19, a good vaccine is all that the global population is looking forward to.
HISTORY OF VACCINES :
The journey of vaccines started in 1796, with the small pox vaccine introduced by Edward Jenner. It was the first successful vaccine that was developed. He made an observation that milkmaids who previously had caught Cowpox, did not catch small pox. The method involved taking material from a blister of someone infected with cowpox and inoculating it into another person’s skin. By late 1940s scientific knowledge gained much momentum and thus large-scale vaccine production became possible. Antitoxins and vaccines against Diptheria, Tetanus, Anthrax, Cholera, Plague, Typhoid, Tuberculosis and more were developed with the advancement of time and technology. The middle of the 20th century was an active time for vaccine research and development. Methods for growing viruses in the laboratory led to rapid discoveries and innovations, including the creation of vaccine for Polio. Currently, vaccines save 2 to 3 million lives each year.
VACCINE FOR COVID-19 : THE LATEST UPDATE
World Health Organisation ( WHO ) is working in collaboration with scientists, business houses and global health organisations worldwide, to speed up the development and deployment of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines. In India, a dry run to check the best way to administer Covid-19 vaccine and plug loopholes in training and logistics, was held accross all states, on 2nd January. It is a matter of pride that the two vaccines that have been given ” emergency use approval “, are made in India. In the global front, the Oxford vaccine ” Astra Zeneca” has been approved on 30th December, following several trials. It is said to stop 70% of people developing Covid symptoms. Trials with more than 20,000 volunteers are still continuing. So now, it is just a matter of time before Covid-19 vaccines are rolled out in the markets globally and our lives bounce back to normal, once again.
Till then, be safe! We wish you all a very happy and Pandemic-free 2021!