- Right from the time, the global pandemic was declared to fight the SARS-COV-2 infection, many countries and their pharma companies are in a mad rush to invent an effective vaccine to combat the virulent virus. As the cases of infection surge alarmingly in most of the countries, efforts to invent the antidote too has assumed paramount importance what with few countries announcing breakthroughs in their clinical trials undertaken so far. Welcoming though, the news must be partaken with a pinch of salt, nonetheless.
PC: clinical omics
- Make no mistake, the pandemic is constantly mutating into a different entity altogether posing unmitigated challenges to the very survival of humanity. On the face of such mounting challenges, it appears few developed countries are in a mad rush to garner universal accolades and recognition to be anointed as the first nation to have cracked the vaccine code by announcing inventions. Whether such claims stand the test of scrutiny, trials, testimony, and widespread acceptability is a question of conjecture yet. Unproven and a long way to traverse before laying any claims of triumph.
- Add to that fact the electoral compulsions, local standings, and national/international prestige involved in breakthrough inventions will only result in encouraging unscrupulous handling and intentional/unintentional compromise of the entire cycle of clinical trials whilst developing vaccine as mandated by the standard safety protocols in vogue. There should not be any room for either cutting corners in pursuit of glory or attempting to curtail large human trials disregarding the health and safety aspects of people. What is the use of a vaccine that fails to guarantee health safeguards for all?
PC: the conversation
- Adhering to established protocols disallows placing people at risk and as such, any deviation whatsoever should be discouraged at all costs. In a welcome move, many of the world-renowned American pharma companies have issued a public pledge not to seek governmental approval until their shots have proven to be safe and effective. The exemplary template has been set and responsible companies from across the world should follow suit. Pledging similarly ruling out any efforts at cutting corners despite pressure to make an announcement claiming invention would reassure the humankind.
- In this context, it is advisable on the part of the Indian Government to also exercise extreme caution and judicious wisdom to weigh every possible pros and con as the Russian Government is making overtures to supply, co-develop, and co-produce its Sputnik V vaccine which has not undergone widespread clinical trial as yet. Jumping the gun in pursuit of the elixir would jeopardize the vulnerable healthcare infrastructure of the country already reeling under the impact of the pandemic. Exercise caution, please!