In December of 2019, there was a cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China. Some of the early cases were reported visiting or working in seafood for the live animal market in Wuhan. An investigation found that the disease was caused by a newly discovered virus called Coronavirus, and the disease was subsequently named Covid-19. The covid-19 spread within China and to the rest of the world. On 30th January 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak public health emergency of international concern.
In this article, we will discuss what is currently known about the Coronavirus, and the vaccines available for it in the market-Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. A coronavirus is a large group of the virus that is composed of genetic material with lipid envelope and spikes of protein. The lipid envelope and the spike of protein give it a shape like a crown. In Latin crown is called the corona, and that is how this virus has got its name coronavirus.
There are different types of coronaviruses that cause diseases to animals and human beings. In humans, coronavirus can cause respiratory infection ranging from the common cold to the most severe one that includes diseases like:
• SARS-: This is called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome which was reported for the first time in China in 2003.
• MERS: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome which was found for the first time in Saudi Arabia in 2012
• SARS-Cov2: Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus2, which is most commonly called Covid-19 was found in Wuhan, China in November 2019.
where do these new viruses come from?
It is found that Coronavirus circulates in a range of animals like camel, cat bats, etc. Sometimes time they make the jump over humans that is called spillover. There are a number of factors that can lead to spillover which can be either mutation of the virus or close contact of humans with the carrier animals or can be some other factors too. MERS-Cov comes from camel, SARS-Cov comes from civet cat. It is not yet known that from where the Covid-19 causing coronavirus come from.
How does Covid-19 spread?
Coronavirus spread from the droplets of an infected person when they come in close contact. When these virus-containing droplets fall on objects, they potentially can cause covid-19 when a healthy person touches those objects and touches his/her mouth or nose with the same contaminated hand.
Symptoms of Covid-19
The incubation period of COVID-19, which is the time between exposure to the virus and symptom onset, is on average 5-6 days but can be as long as 14 days. Thus, quarantine should be in place for 14 days from the last exposure to a confirmed case. There is a range of symptoms which range from very mild to the most severe one. Some are even asymptomatic. The common symptoms include fever, fatigue, and respiratory symptoms like cough, sore throat, shortness of breath. In some cases, there can be loss of taste, smell, and rashes on the skin. In severe cases, there could be pneumonia, organ failure, and sometimes death.
- The most common way of getting infected is by touching things in public, so you must wash your hands frequently. The virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but a lot can happen in those 5-10 minutes. (you can rub your eyes or pick your nose ).
- Aside from washing your hands frequently, you can gargle with Betadine Sore Throat Gargle to eliminate or minimize the germs while they are still in your throat (before dripping down to your lungs).
An ounce of prevention is worth more than tons of cure.
Everythin you need to know about the vaccine against the Covid-19
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines prompt the immune system to make antibodies to defend against specific diseases. In other words — they make the immune system behave as if the body already had this illness. Vaccines achieve this without making the person sick. After vaccination, the person develops immunity to the disease. Their body can fight off the infection if exposure to the pathogen, such as the novel coronavirus, occurs. An effective vaccine stimulates the immune system without kicking it into overdrive. Developing a vaccine that works without causing unwanted side effects is the goal for researchers. Vaccines also need to be safe for everyone, including people with allergies, young children, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, older adults, and people with underlying health conditions.
As we discussed earlier that coronavirus is a large family of a virus with a huge RNA genome in them, RNA, unlike DNA is less stable because of which it adapt, mutate and change its behavior very fast making it more resistant to drugs. Because of its fast mutating behavior, that antibiotic that works effectively in one patient may not work in another, and therefore only the vaccine is the ultimate solution to get complete rid of from this coronavirus, covid-19. It is also most often said that vaccine is the best preventing measure in the medical toolbox against diseases.
A covid-19 vaccine is aimed to provide acquired immunity against Covid-19. Prior to COVID-19, a vaccine for an infectious disease had never been produced in less than several years–and no vaccine existed for preventing a coronavirus infection in humans. Before the outbreak of the Covid-19 in 2019, works attempts were done to develop a vaccine against the diseases caused by Coronaviruses like SARS and MERS that had established knowledge about the structure, functions, and characteristics of coronaviruses, which helped a lot in making the job of the vaccine development even faster.
During the mid of December 2020, 57 vaccine candidates were in clinical research, including 40 in Phase I-II trials and 19 in Phase II-III trials. In Phase III, many of the Covid-19 Vaccines showed efficacy as high as 95% in protecting against the Covid-19 infections, however, National Regulatory Authorities did not approve all instead did only six of them.
The vaccine approved by National Regulatory Authorities includes:
Two RNA vaccines:
1. Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine
2. mRNA-1273 from Moderna
Two Conventional inactivated vaccines
1. BBIBP-CorV from Sinopharm
2. CoronaVac from SinoVac
Two viral vector vaccines
1. Gam-COVID-Vac from the Gamaleya Research Institute
2. AZD1222 from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca
Many of the countries have already started distribution and administration of the vaccine on the basis of priority where people at the highest risk of complications, such as the elderly, and those at high risk of exposure and transmission, such as healthcare workers are prioritized. Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca predicted a manufacturing capacity of 5.3 billion doses in 2021, which could be used to vaccinate about 3 billion people (as the vaccines require two doses for a protective effect against COVID-19). By December, more than 10 billion vaccine doses had been preordered by countries, with about half of the doses purchased by high-income countries comprising only 14% of the world’s total population.
Since early 2020, vaccine development has been expedited via unprecedented collaboration in the multinational pharmaceutical industries and between governments. According to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), the geographic distribution of Covid-19 vaccine development puts North American entities having about 40% of the activity compared to 30% in Asia and Austria, 26% in Europe, and a few projects in South America and Africa.