New Delhi: In a statement that has generated a great amount of optimism, Dr Randeep Guleria, head of Delhi’s AIIMS and co author of the book on COVID-19, ‘Till We Win’, told News18 that a vaccine against the virus will be giving protection for at least a year. “Nine months to a year is a possibility," he said when asked about the vaccine protection and how long it is expected to last.
He said the vaccine will provide protection to a greater size of the population and help break the chain of transmission.
Coronavirus, however, will become endemic, he said. “COVID-19 won’t disappear. It will not be eliminated for quite some time. I don’t see COVID 19 disappearing. It might become a much milder disease," the leading pulmonologist added.
Dr Guleria said by 2023 the infections would become lesser and even before that the WHO would declare the end of the pandemic.
India is looking at at least five vaccines. The front runner continues to be COVIDSHEILD which is being developed by Serum Institute of India (SII) in partnership with Oxford University. The vaccine is in the process of completing the third-phase trials in India. The SII has already indicated that the company would be soon going in for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA).
Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN, being developed in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research, has announced 60 per cent efficacy, looking at data from phase I and phase II trials.
Zydus Cadila’s ZYCOV D is in the second phase of trials. Sputnik V, Russia’s vaccine being developed in India along with Dr Reddy’s, is in the Phase II and III Trials. Hyderabad-based Biological E’s vaccine is in the phase I stage.
Co-author of ‘Till We Win’, Dr Gagandeep Kang, said that we will never go back to 2019. “We are looking at a time about two years from now where there will be some semblance of normalcy," Dr Kang said.