Vaccination campaigns have begun in many countries of the world to control the corona epidemic. Fit to Fly information and suggestions related to this may seem intriguing to you at times. But some basic facts will help you understand how a vaccine ultimately works. People are still not aware if there is any blood test to detect coronavirus. And the bad news is that you may now require a travel passport test to enter many of the countries around the world. This test tells if you are eligible to enter those countries or not.
A PCR test is considered to be the most precise test to detect Corona infection in your body. This test is highly effective in detecting the genetic material of the virus. Even if you were infected in the past, this test will detect it. So if you are planning to visit any other country, then you should certainly take this test and know if you are fit to fly or not.
The vaccine develops our body to combat any disease or infection. To be precise, it is not a cure but prevention. Especially, for people suffering from comorbidity like diabetes, vaccines are the only hope for survival. Some people may have to face side effects after the injection of the vaccine. Mild fever or rash are common side effects. After the required dose of the vaccine, our body evolves immunity to combat the disease.
Luckily, not many people have shown serious side effects.
Vaccine making process.
Generally, our body detects the entry of a new pathogen like bacteria, virus, or fungus. And, to fight back our body produces antibodies. Unfortunately, the antibodies are created only if the body is infected. Though, the good news is that body produces antibodies even if the non-potent form of the same foreign body infects us. This is the basic idea behind any vaccine.
The vaccine contains some weak or inactive portions of the virus that cause disease. These stimulate the immune system of our body to identify infections and make antibodies to fight against them. Thus our body is already protected when the same type of virus attacks.
How Vaccine life begins in the lab
Interestingly, the scientists started the work on developing a vaccine by understanding the DNA code of the virus. Fortunately, we had the genetic code of the virus by January 2020. And, in the initial months of 2021, countries already added the requirement of travel passport test along with other formalities.
Usually, it takes years or more to come up with a vaccine against a virus. But, this unprecedented collaboration helped in developing the vaccine in just one year.
Human Trials of Vaccines
They tested these vaccines in the lab. This was to understand their safety and efficacy. Then the second step was to test it on real people.
Usually, it takes up to ten years to conduct such trials or trials of a vaccine. Anyhow, with the coronavirus the trails were made on different levels simultaneously. Thus it allowed for the vaccine to be production-ready as quickly as possible.
Further, government institutions then reviewed these trials. After proper testing, the vaccines were certified as safe for human use. Large scale manufacturing of these vaccines was possible now.
The UK regulatory body uses a system called ‘Rolling Review’. But, for corona vaccines, they analyzed the data for approval. They did not wait for the actual tests in the field. This helped in saving a lot of time.
Large-scale productions of the vaccine started after the authorities approved them.
Fortunately, the pharma industry already knew the technique to replicate the vaccine in mass quantity. UK authorities approved the vaccine quickly based on the data analysis. Finally, the pharma companies were able to produce the vaccine on a mass level after the real data arrived.
With the data, they were able to analyze if the vaccine had any serious side effects on various sensory organs like eyes, ears, nose etc. The data also showed the effectiveness of the vaccine in people suffering from lung diseases, diabetes, heart problems and so on.
To produce it in huge quantity various ingredients are mixed with the vaccine. Companies do this on a very large scale to ensure timely availability against the demand.
To stabilize, they use stabilizers to increase the shelf life of the vaccine. Adjuvant helps to improve our immunity.
Thus these vaccines get certification from the quality control department. The quality test department then approves these vaccines based on their test results.
Transportation of vaccines requires the maintenance of a proper cold chain. Any problem with the cold chain at any stage can destroy the vaccine in no time.
These are mediums such as freezer vans and ice cooling refrigerators. This process starts at the very beginning of the manufacturing process. The cold chain begins from the manufacturing unit. This keeps the vaccine safe at a particular temperature.
Most importantly, you have to maintain a temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius to preserve the vaccines. This is enough to preserve traditional vaccines. But, some Covid-19 vaccines require a storage temperature of -70° C. For example, the Pfizer-BioNotech vaccine has to be kept at a very low temperature i.e. -70 ° C.
You can keep the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine at a normal refrigerator temperature. Therefore, there are fewer challenges in transporting this vaccine. The best part is, to transport it to locations outside the country a wide network of cold storage will be required.
Countries have created hubs with refrigeration facilities. The vaccines arrive at these hubs and then transported to various localities as and when required.
Interestingly, each and every country first tests the vaccines before approving them for the local population. Many countries have created special freezer farms to contain vaccines.
Trained staff of vaccination centers are provided with a small consignment of a vaccine. They have systems to maintain the temperature of the vaccines.
These vaccines are first bought to the normal temperature.
Finally, the patient gets the vaccine in their arms. After entering our body, this vaccine prepares our immune system to fight against the new coronavirus. You require 2 doses to get full immunity. Many countries have made it mandatory for people to get the two doses. Only fully vaccinated people are now considered fit to fly by these nations.
People suffering from flu, ear infections, etc. have to get approval from their physician before getting vaccinated.
Hopefully, the entire global population will be inoculated by the year 2022. Until then most of the countries will require the travel passport test to enter their territories. Most of the countries accept and approve a PCR test as the most authentic status pass for entry in their country.
Unfortunately, new strains of the virus have been detected in many countries. So, the pharma industry needs to gear up for new challenges. It is not clear until now that the present vaccines are effective on the new strains or not.