Efforts are underway around the world to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus. At the moment, it is the only plausible solution to contain the pandemic which has been causing destruction.
In some good news for people around the world, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Thursday it would provide “up to $1.2 billion” to the drug company AstraZeneca to develop a potential vaccine from a laboratory at Oxford University. This deal is the fourth and by far the largest deal disclosed by the authority. It provides for a third phase clinical trial in the United States with around 30000 volunteers.
The statement has said that the agency is working to make available at least 300 million doses. In fact, the first dosage could be made available as early as October. That is an ambitious time scale as most scientists caution that a cheap and mass-produced vaccine might only be available at some time next year. Even then, it will have to be ensured that billions of doses are made available around the world.
WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF THIS CORONAVIRUS VACCINE?
The vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca is pretty confident about its success. In a separate statement, AstraZeneca said it had reached agreements with several governments and other organizations to produce at least 400 million doses, had “secured manufacturing capacity for one billion doses,” and will begin its first deliveries in September.
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There are many other efforts underway around the world to come up with a potential vaccine. All these are still in preliminary stages operating at a small scale. It remains to be seen if a treatment can be figured out at the earliest.
Until that time, the world needs to live with the virus. Activities have to be restarted at the earliest. That’s the only way to save millions of livelihoods worldwide in an ever-changing world of utter disaster.