Vaccine research - GulfToday

Vaccine research


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Though the world is deploying 12 vaccines now, in different countries, research must continue incessantly to improve the efficacy of the vaccines and the simplicity of administering them. Globally, 230 vaccines are being researched.

There have been doubts raised about AstraZeneca leading to blood clotting. Many countries in Europe will not be using it to inoculate the below 30 age groups. Many African nations, have decided to wait for the Johnson vaccine. Nevertheless, AstraZenaca is being aggressively used in the UK and India. We need a final view on whether AstraZenaca is safe to administer. World Health Organisation (WHO) should opine on this.

The world is continuing to face a shortage of vaccines. Countries in Asia, Europe and Africa are all languishing, for lack of vaccines. So, we desperately need some more vaccines, from the 230 candidates being tested. There is need to accelerate the trials.

Countries should try to get a basket of vaccines, rather than limit themselves to one or two brands. The UK and US have done well to book vaccines with numerous pharma companies. India should be totally open to deploying the Russian vaccine and those produced by Pfizer and Johnson. In heavily populated countries like India, Egypt, Nigeria, etc, the Johnson jab would be ideal, for it requires just one jab and saves major logistics issues.

Scientists and pharma companies also need to research easier forms of protecting people from COVID-19. Scientists in Cuba have been conducting trials with a nasal spray vaccine. Pharma companies also need to research whether oral forms of vaccination are possible (like the polio drop), so that people do not have to visit the hospitals to take the jab.

Rajendra Aneja — Mumbai, India

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