COVID-19 Vaccines: Where Are We Now?

BioSupply Trends Quarterly Summer Magazine ~ August 1, 2021
- By Diane L.M. Cook

Not since the Spanish flu of 1918 has the world experienced such a worldwide outbreak as COVID-19. Declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020, by April 1, 2021, more than 30 million Americans had contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus and almost 550,000 Americans had died from it. Scientists say the only way to halt further global spread of COVID-19 is with a vaccine.

Coronavirus disease of 2019 — or COVID-19 — is caused by infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus strain. Because COVID-19 is a novel virus, it is more contagious than other currently circulating viruses because the global population does not have antibodies to fight it. Consequently, the COVID-19 virus has proven to be deadlier than the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak in 2003 and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) outbreak in 2012.

In addition to the original COVID-19 virus, there are three variants circulating around the world: B.117 (which originated in the United Kingdom); B.1.351 (which originated in South Africa) and P1 (which originated in Brazil). Therefore, not only do vaccine manufacturers have the daunting task of developing a novel vaccine in record time to prevent further COVID-19 infections, they must also adjust their vaccine formulae or develop new vaccines that will provide efficacy for the emerging variants.… [Read Full Article]