Saudi Arabia

Student's Corner

Why isn’t there a vaccine for COVID-19



Fun Fact!


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-2 is the name of the virus while COVID-19 is the name of disease.


 You might think “What actually is a vaccine?”. A sort of antibiotic? A medicine? No actually, they are a dead or inactivated form of virus which means they are very harmless to our body. You can say, using the virus to defeat itself.


What do vaccines do?



Vaccines are an  inactivated form of the virus which poses no threat to the human body. What it actually does, is, when it is injected, they are recognised by the immune system as “foreign” and destroyed. More importantly, as they get killed, the white blood cells “remember” the virus so, if the person were to get infected with the real one, it will be immediately killed.


What about COVID-19?



So you wonder, if it's that easy to make a vaccine, why is it taking so long? But developing one is never as easy as it seems. There are three main stages for a vaccine to be developed. First, the aim is to make the virus inactive or disabled so it poses no threat. The second step involves, verifying it, testing on a limited amount of volunteers, while the third and final step, involves more testing, analysing the results and mass producing it. Even before stage 2, it has to be tested on animals(eg:- mice). Doing all this takes a long time, while the research takes about half year, the rest takes another 1-2 years. Generally the average time to be developed is 2 years.


What do we do now?



At present vaccines being developed are still in stage 1. But patients are are being treated with the antibodies from the recovered patients. They are the cells itself which “remember” the virus to prevent further infections in the future. There is a drug named Hydroxychloroquine which on social media is being circulated as a cure for COVID-19. This is totally untrue. All we have to do now is wait. Stay Safe. Stay Home


Rahbab Chowdhury