New Delhi: As the world races to find a cure for the deadly coronavirus, six Indian companies have also joined the global fight and have started working on a vaccine for COVID-19. Also Read - Coronavirus Vaccine May be Only Way to Return to 'Normalcy', Says UN Chief
While Zydus Cadila is working on two vaccines, Serum Institute, Biological E, Bharat Biotech, Indian Immunologicals, and Mynvax are developing one vaccine each, Gagandeep Kang, executive director of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, told PTI. Also Read - Rapidly Occurring Mutation in Coronavirus Structure Can Make Vaccine Development Futile
Globally, nearly 70 vaccine candidates’ are being tested and at least three have moved to the human clinical trial stage, but a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is unlikely to be ready for mass use before 2021.
Vaccine Development is a lengthy process
Usually, developing a vaccine takes around 10-15 years, owing to a complicated series of tests and trails, however seeing the urgency of the C0vid-19 crisis, scientists are working hard to reduce the time to one year.
”It is a complicated process with many stages of testing and many challenges. A vaccine for the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, may not take 10 years that other vaccines do but it could be at least a year before it is proven safe, effective, and made widely available”, explained experts.
Sreekumar, chief scientific officer at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) in Kerala said that generally, vaccines take several months to pass the different stages of testing, and then approvals also take time.
”Vaccine testing typically begins with animal and lab testing before going on to different stages of human testing. The human testing phase is composed of many phases, Sreekumar told PTI.
Even after the vaccine is ready, he explained, there are a lot of challenges, including whether the vaccine is effective in all populations, and if it can be used for different strains of the novel coronavirus, which might start mutating as time passes.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), three vaccine candidates are in the clinical testing phase, meaning they are able to be tested on humans, while nearly 70 are in the preclinical phase — either in lab testing, or animal studies.
(With PTI Inputs)