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Last Updated : Aug 04, 2020 07:02 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Coronavirus Essential podcast | ICMR rethinks its ambitious deadline, hopes for COVID-19 vaccine by 2020 end

Tune in to Coronavirus Essential with Sakshi Batra for the top news on the pandemic.

In a recent news report, the Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research Balram Bhargava said that he is hopeful of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2020 or early 2021.

The DG's comment comes after the organisation received criticism for the ambitious deadline of August 15. The DG had earlier sent a letter to hospitals to fast-track the trials for the vaccine.

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The DG defended his earlier deadline saying that it is “the country’s moral duty to fast-track the vaccine without compromising on science and ethics.”

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Tune in to Coronavirus Essential with Sakshi Batra for the top news on the pandemic.
First Published on Aug 4, 2020 07:02 pm
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