Home Global News Covid-19 Vaccine could take two years: Bill Gates

Covid-19 Vaccine could take two years: Bill Gates

by Shatakshi

Recently, business tycoon and philanthropists, Mr. Bill Gates , talked about  Covid-19 vaccine on which his foundation is funding aggressively. He wrote an article on this whole vaccine developing process, we will discuss in this articles about what he explained through his article.

He wrote that the only possible way to get back to normalcy, which he referred as the days before this Pandemic spread, is to develop a drug or vaccine to fight the virus. He then said that it is currently not possible to develop a drug with efficacy as much as 95 percent , so the only way out is the vaccine. To emphasize the urgency he writes “Humankind has never had a more urgent task than creating broad immunity for coronavirus. Realistically, if we’re going to return to normal, we need to develop a safe, effective vaccine. We need to make billions of doses, we need to get them out to every part of the world, and we need all of this happen as quickly as possible.”

Also Read: Coronavirus cases may touch the mark of 1 billion: A report says

Mr. Gates also writes that his foundation is highest funder for developing a vaccine. He further writes that the only possible way to develop a vaccine faster is collaboration of various institutions and governments. He further agreed with Dr. Fauci  who thinks that COVID-19 vaccine can be developed in 18 months, he also added that it might be a long time to wait till then, but this will be the fastest developed vaccine in human history. He explained further, why vaccines can not be developed in short time span, the two things to focus on while developing a Vaccine are Safety and Efficacy. He also writes about different phases of Vaccine formation. First is Phase-1, in which the main focus is finding the strongest immune system. In this phase small number of people are tested. In Phase-2 the primary concern is to detect how well the vaccine works in the people who are intended to get it. In this phase hundreds of people are injected with vaccine. The last Phase-3 is one in which vaccine is introduce to a large group of people who are likely already at the risk of infection by the target pathogen, and then wait and see if the vaccine reduces how many people get sick. To pass all these phases a lot of time is required, which we are running short of. Companies invest in vaccine after phase 2, which is why this process takes lot of time, but Mr. Bill Gates writes if we need to boost the process we would require lot of funds, which already many governments and his Foundation are spending. He not only talked about rapid testing of vaccines but also emphasized on trying different approaches at the same time. He writes “As of April 9, there are 115 different COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the development pipeline. I think that eight to ten of those look particularly promising. (Our foundation is going to keep an eye on all the others to see if we missed any that have some positive characteristics, though.)”.

Mr. Bill Gates further explains how a vaccine works, he writes when a disease pathogen gets into your system, your immune system responds by producing antibodies. These antibodies attach themselves to substances called antigens on the surface of the microbe, which sends a signal to your body to attack. Your immune system keeps a record of every microbe it has ever defeated, so that it can quickly recognize and destroy invaders before they make you ill.  Now, vaccine eases this process for body, in a vaccine viral strains are already present either inactivated or attenuated. In one case body is injected with a dead virus and in other one it is injected with weak virus, in response to this our body fights these dead or weak viruses on their own and recognize them forever and when these viruses attacked our body in future, our body knows how to fight with that. However, the issue in creating such vaccine is time, as these vaccines are full of biological material which requires time to grow. Mr. Gates further talks about two new approaches, that are RNA and DNA vaccine, in which rather than injecting a pathogen’s antigen into your body, you instead give the body the genetic code needed to produce that antigen itself. When the antigens appear on the outside of your cells, your immune system attacks them—and learns how to defeat future invaders in the process. You essentially turn your body into its own vaccine manufacturing unit. As RNA vaccines let your body do most of the work, they don’t require much material. That makes them much faster to manufacture. But the problem here is that we don’t know for sure yet if RNA is a viable platform for vaccines. Since COVID would be the first RNA vaccine out of the gate, we have to prove both that the platform itself works and that it creates immunity.

He said that it might not be the perfect vaccine and may show some side effects, but that would be fine to start with, just like the case with smallpox vaccine which initially showed some side effects. In terms of efficacy he writes “We have a bit more wiggle room with efficacy. I suspect a vaccine that is at least 70 percent effective will be enough to stop the outbreak. A 60 percent effective vaccine is useable, but we might still see some localized outbreaks. Anything under 60 percent is unlikely to create enough herd immunity to stop the virus.”  The  another major issue is that whether the vaccine will work old  age people because our immune system age is directly proportional to our biological age. The another challenge is the deciding the right amount of dosage as well as to find out whether one dose is enough or we require multi dosages. The yet another challenge is duration of effect of vaccine; ideally, the vaccine will give you long-lasting protection. But we might end up with one that only stop you from getting sick for a couple months (like the seasonal flu vaccine, which protects you for about six months). If that happens, the short-term vaccine might be used while we work on a more durable one. Storage of vaccines is also a worrisome task because to maintaining right temperature is the key to keep vaccine effective, for context RNA vaccine requires -80 degree Celsius temperature.

Also Read: Coronavirus Outbreak: How we will know when it’s time to open the world?

Mr. Bill Gates further explains how a vaccine works, he writes when a disease pathogen gets into your system, your immune system responds by producing antibodies. These antibodies attach themselves to substances called antigens on the surface of the microbe, which sends a signal to your body to attack. Your immune system keeps a record of every microbe it has ever defeated, so that it can quickly recognize and destroy invaders before they make you ill.  Now, vaccine eases this process for body, in a vaccine viral strains are already present either inactivated or attenuated. In one case body is injected with a dead virus and in other one it is injected with weak virus, in response to this our body fights these dead or weak viruses on their own and recognize them forever and when these viruses attacked our body in future, our body knows how to fight with that. However, the issue in creating such vaccine is time, as these vaccines are full of biological material which requires time to grow. Mr. Gates further talks about two new approaches, that are RNA and DNA vaccine, in which rather than injecting a pathogen’s antigen into your body, you instead give the body the genetic code needed to produce that antigen itself. When the antigens appear on the outside of your cells, your immune system attacks them—and learns how to defeat future invaders in the process. You essentially turn your body into its own vaccine manufacturing unit. As RNA vaccines let your body do most of the work, they don’t require much material. That makes them much faster to manufacture. But the problem here is that we don’t know for sure yet if RNA is a viable platform for vaccines. Since COVID would be the first RNA vaccine out of the gate, we have to prove both that the platform itself works and that it creates immunity.

He said that it might not be the perfect vaccine and may show some side effects, but that would be fine to start with, just like the case with smallpox vaccine which initially showed some side effects. In terms of efficacy he writes “We have a bit more wiggle room with efficacy. I suspect a vaccine that is at least 70 percent effective will be enough to stop the outbreak. A 60 percent effective vaccine is useable, but we might still see some localized outbreaks. Anything under 60 percent is unlikely to create enough herd immunity to stop the virus.”  The  another major issue is that whether the vaccine will work old  age people because our immune system age is directly proportional to our biological age. The another challenge is the deciding the right amount of dosage as well as to find out whether one dose is enough or we require multi dosages. The yet another challenge is duration of effect of vaccine; ideally, the vaccine will give you long-lasting protection. But we might end up with one that only stop you from getting sick for a couple months (like the seasonal flu vaccine, which protects you for about six months). If that happens, the short-term vaccine might be used while we work on a more durable one. Storage of vaccines is also a worrisome task because to maintaining right temperature is the key to keep vaccine effective, for context RNA vaccine requires -80 degree Celsius temperature.

anti-parasatic

He expressed his concern over the distribution of vaccine, once we successfully get that, as we have never distributed anything to every corner of the world. Mr. Gates also discussed the idea about who should get vaccine first, he writes “I think that low-income countries should be some of the first to receive it, because people will be at a much higher risk of dying in those places. COVID-19 will spread much quicker in poor countries because measures like physical distancing are harder to enact. More people have poor underlying health that makes them more vulnerable to complications, and weak health systems will make it harder for them to receive the care they need. Getting the vaccine out in low-income countries could save millions of lives.” He ended his article in these words- “It might be a bit hard to see right now, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We’re doing the right things to get a vaccine as quickly as possible. In the meantime, I urge you to continue following the guidelines set by your local authorities. Our ability to get through this outbreak will depend on everyone doing their part to keep each other safe.”

He expressed his concern over the distribution of vaccine, once we successfully get that, as we have never distributed anything to every corner of the world. Mr. Gates also discussed the idea about who should get vaccine first, he writes “I think that low-income countries should be some of the first to receive it, because people will be at a much higher risk of dying in those places. COVID-19 will spread much quicker in poor countries because measures like physical distancing are harder to enact. More people have poor underlying health that makes them more vulnerable to complications, and weak health systems will make it harder for them to receive the care they need. Getting the vaccine out in low-income countries could save millions of lives.” He ended his article in these words- “It might be a bit hard to see right now, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We’re doing the right things to get a vaccine as quickly as possible. In the meantime, I urge you to continue following the guidelines set by your local authorities. Our ability to get through this outbreak will depend on everyone doing their part to keep each other safe.”

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

* By using this form you agree with the storage and handling of your data by this website.