There is no vaccine for stupidity

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Finally there is some good news coming out vis-à-vis Covid-19. AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Thursday pinned his hopes on the five COVID-19 vaccine candidates which are in advanced stages of clinical trial in India, stating they are logistically feasible for distribution in both urban and rural areas. He expressed hope that by the end of this month or early next month, at least one of the five vaccines being locally-tested should get emergency use authorisation from the drug regulator to be administered to the public starting with priority groups. He further said that the vaccine candidates are in advanced stages of clinical trial in India and no significant serious adverse effects have been seen so far. The Serum Institute of India is conducting phase-3 trial of the Oxford-Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccine, while the indigenously developed vaccine by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR has already started the phase-3 clinical trial. Another indigenously-developed vaccine by Zydus Cadila has also completed phase -2 clinical trial in the country.  Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) also have announced the start of adaptive phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V in India while as Biological E. Ltd has started early phase 1 and 2 human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The news has come just a day after Pfizer-BioNTech’s anti-coronavirus vaccine got emergency clearance in the UK, paving the way for mass vaccinations against the deadly novel coronavirus from as early as next week. It may be mentioned here that Pfizer had talks with the Indian government late August, but since then there has been no development. The requirement of an extreme low temperature of -70 deg C for storing the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer poses a big challenge for its delivery in a developing nation like India, especially in its smaller towns and rural areas where maintaining such cold chain facilities would be very difficult, experts say. Scientists and medical fraternity are on the job and hopefully humans will succeed to come up with an answer to the pandemic that has turned the entire world topsy-turvy.

That said, there are no grounds for complacency. People have to realize that not taking the spread of Covid-19 seriously is suicidal. Of late, people have turned somewhat indifferent towards the Covid-19 protocols. Masks are vanishing from the faces of people roaming around; social distancing is not being given a fig and not much attention is being given towards hand washing and other such precautions. This is a worrying factor and puts the lives of the entire population at the risk. Not following the Covid-19 precautions is stupidity and scientists may finally develop effective vaccine against coronavirus, people have to keep in mind that no vaccine would ever be developed that can deal with such stupidity.

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