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WORLD: The human trial of a vaccine developed by Oxford University that began last week in the UK became a ray of hope for the whole world waiting for a strong cure to the coronavirus infection caused by COVID-19. While more than 100 other vaccines against Covid-19 are currently under the pre-clinical trial stage, the leading health experts around the world are alarmed and have raised questions what if the world never sees a Covid-19 vaccine, as in the case of HIV and even dengue where there is no vaccine even after years of research.
Drawing attention of the people on the probability of development of vaccine & thereafter its success,
Dr David Nabarro, Covid-19 Special Envoy, World Health Organization recently said in a statement, “There are some viruses that we still do not have vaccines against. We can’t make an absolute assumption that a vaccine will appear at all, or if it does appear, whether it will pass all the tests of efficacy and safety.”
According to a report, “Worst-case possibility is that no vaccine is ever developed”. In this outcome, “the public’s hopes are repeatedly raised and then dashed, as various proposed solutions fall before the final hurdle”.
Even after four decades and 32 million deaths caused by HIV, the world hasn’t been able to develop any vaccine to cure it & is still just waiting for it. Similarly, affecting around 400,000 people around the world every year as reported by WHO, Dengue fever still remains a mystery for the scientists as no successful vaccine against it has been developed yet.
Dengvaxia, a vaccine to prevent dengue is available in some countries for people ages 9-45 years old. But the WHO recommends that the vaccine only be given to persons with confirmed prior dengue virus infection. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2017, the vaccine manufacturer, Sanofi Pasteur, announced that people who receive the vaccine and have not been previously infected with a dengue virus may be at risk of developing severe dengue if they get dengue after being vaccinated.
However, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr Anthony Fauci, has given hope to the people saying, “The vaccine could happen in 12-18 months”
Meanwhile, Dr Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston made it clear that the process of vaccine development could take a longer time. He stated, “We’ve never accelerated a vaccine in a year to 18 months.” And further said that Covid-19 disease could be with us for many years into the future and lockdowns are not sustainable economically.