Usually, it takes years to develop a vaccine but the events surrounding the covid-19 made the covid-19 vaccines to be available just within a year.
There are different stages for vaccine development and the covid-19 vaccines have passed different stages/phases within a short period, this is due to the effects and the negative waves of the coronavirus pandemic.
It came with both economic and political crisis and has seen many countries go into recession.
Generally, there are five(5) stages/phases of vaccine development and within the five stages there may be other sub-phases
- Exploratory stage
- Pre-clinical stage
- Clinical trials stage
- Review, Licensure and approval
- Quality control
Center for Disease Control (CDC) explained the general stages of the development cycle of a vaccine,
The current Covid-19 vaccine in circulation have been approved for administration but is clearly still in the clinical phase (phase 3 of clinical trials), Pfizer is the leading vaccine and is currently in circulation.
The clinical trial has a three-phase process. In phase 1, small group of people receive the trial vaccine while in phase 2 the trial vaccine is given to more healthy people.
During the phase 3 of the clinical trial, the trial vaccine is given to thousands of people after passing phase 2 to test its potency and safety. There is always a further study even after the vaccine is approved.
The further study will determine whether the vaccine will be cleared for mass administration or whether the vaccine will be recalled following any adverse side effect.
The Hoaxes of Covid-19 vaccine
There are various conspiracies against the Covid-19 vaccine and most of them are believed to be politically motivated. What makes these conspiracies to be thriving is the fact that Covid-19 spreads very fast (highly contagious).
Being able to spread easily can render vaccines useless, vaccines are not medications that cure diseases – they are medications that prevent diseases
There are things we should understand about vaccines. Our bodies react to vaccines the same way they react/respond to viruses because the vaccines are similar to those particular viruses.
Vaccines may contain weakened or killed virus, a genetic portion of the virus like protein or any part of the organism. These are killed, weekend or denatured so that they do not revert to the virulent organism.
We are supposed to receive a vaccine weeks or even months before getting infected with a particular disease, the reason is that our bodies take time before developing antibodies against a particular virus, this same mechanism applies to vaccines.
If you are vaccinated today and get infected with the virus tomorrow, then the vaccine cannot protect you (vaccine is not a medication that cures, rather, it prevents).
It is so because before your body can develop antibodies against the vaccine, the virus must have gone beyond the control of your immune system.
This is why it seem the Covid-19 vaccine is not effective or that it is virulent-containing the virus itself because people get the virus a day or two after vaccination.
The fear of these conspiracies has led to cancelation of the vaccine by some Countries with Aljazeera reporting that Australia canceled the 51 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine they previously ordered.
Also, the government of UK through her Department of Health and Social Care and the Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency only gave permission for temporary supplies (Regulatory approval) of the vaccine noting that “the vaccine does not have a marketing authorization” through documents shared on their official website.
Vaccines are aimed at helping our body develop antibodies earlier enough before we get the virus itself. The cells that produce the antibodies are memory cells which are able to recognize the virus in the future and produce antibodies immediately to neutralize the virus. This is the way our bodies work.