A vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is being vouched as the only and the best hope to end the pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 330,000 people worldwide.
Pharmaceutical companies and researchers across the world are in a race to develop a safe and effective vaccination for COVID-19. Many such vaccines are currently under development, while there are a few notable ones that are undergoing clinical trials in humans.
One such vaccine is the mRNA-1273 by Moderna, a USA-based pharmaceutical company, The vaccines by Moderna is currently headed toward Phase II clinical trial after recording success in Phase I. Unlike conventional vaccines, this one is a genetically-modified mRNA vaccine, which is easier to produce and can be produced at a mass scale quickly.
There are different types of vaccines that are currently in the making, as highlighted in the graphic.
However, a real, safe, and effective vaccine may still be months away from public use. Vaccine development typically takes years and even if all the processes, including regulatory approvals, are expedited, it may still take months for an effective COVID-19 vaccine to be available.
Most of the vaccines being developed against COVID-19 targets the Spike-shaped protein present on the surface of the coronavirus. It is through S protein that coronavirus can attach itself to the host cells in humans. A vaccine that targets this protein will render the virus useless as it will no longer be able to attach itself to human cells and cause COVID-19.
Source: Mayo Clinic