By Norman Isaac Mwambazi
Governments all over the world through their ministries of health and big pharmaceutical industries kicked off clinical trials for their formulas of the COVID-19 vaccine to make sure they are safe to be used in nationwide prevention of the deadly disease.
For the pandemic to be defeated, the entire population should be vaccinated at least twice, and this is going to take some time, four years at least, according to Adar Poonawalla, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.
According to Poonawalla, COVID-19 vaccines will only be available in adequate numbers at the end of 2024 at the earliest because pharmaceutical companies were not increasing production capacity quickly enough to vaccinate the global population in less time.
“I know the world wants to be optimistic but I have not heard of anyone coming even close to that level of production right now. It is going to take four to five years until everyone gets the vaccine on this planet,” Poonawalla said during an interview with American news agency Financial Times.
Serum Institute of India is collaborating with five big pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, Codagenix, and Novavax to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and they are committed to producing more than one billion doses, but the World Health Organisation’s target is two billion doses by the end of 2021.
In Uganda, the Ministry of Health announced that it is starting clinical trials of its own COVID-19 treatment remedy in November this year, to find out if plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can be used to treat and cure active COVID-19 patients.