The race for COVID-19 vaccine is getting dirty due to infiltration from politics and profit-minded business people!

Scientists worldwide are toiling day and night to discover a vaccine for COVID-19. Many vaccine candidates are now in clinical trials and despite the trials ongoing, some countries like Russia has claimed that their vaccine is ready and they will soon begin mass immunization programs with it? The race for COVID-19 vaccine is only getting murkier and unhealthy. Is it for political gains and profits? Is the safety of the masses in jeopardy?

The short history of COVID-19 and its vaccine development

China had cases of Covid-19 from December 2019. In the early part of January 2020, they revealed to the world that there was a new respiratory disease on its soil. And in 10 days time on 11 January 2020, they had the genomic sequence of the virus in hand. They published it at the same time. Taking this lead, researchers worldwide started the hard task of making a vaccine against a virus about which they knew so little and so incompletely.

But by 16 March, the first vaccine candidate had already started human trials. And as the days passed by, more and more companies entered this race of vaccine development. And soon the vaccine development was plagued with interference from politics and profit craze. The race soon got dirty!!!

Russia’s new vaccine against COVID-19 [Source: YouTube]
There was an initial euphoria in the medical field as more and more vaccines entered the clinical trial phase. But soon tensions started between them. It has become very obvious even to an outsider that all is not well what is going on in the inner circle. They soon began to nobble each other openly!

The race for COVID-19 vaccine-game of power and money

The Russian government was the first to state that they already have a vaccine against COVID-19. Later Chinese joined in. Then the other countries started accusing Russia and China of hacking its research. Biotech companies and their executives were also accused of trying to cash in on yet unproven and unapproved vaccines. In the midst of all this, Russian authorities already gave approval for a vaccine which had not even completed the clinical trials phase.

Sputnik V vaccine [Source: Live Science]
The race is getting dirty and sour! Political teams are pushing scientists to come out with a result fast. They want a solution which can also save their dwindling economy. The country leaders want to cut corners and reach a vaccine for coronavirus fast.

Donald Trump and his power game

In the USA, Donald Trump is playing his own power game. Last week, he criticized the USA FDA for dragging its feet. He accused them of delaying the vaccine approval until after the November Presidential election. He wants them to approve an experimental vaccine before Election Day. Why does he want to meddle with medicine and vaccine development? It is obviously for his personal gain and profit!

In the meantime, FDA approved plasma treatment for emergency use for gravely ill COVID-19 patients. But even plasma therapy has shown no benefit in clinical trials. People now feared that the FDA would do the same even for vaccines which were still in the experimental stage. This would be to please Donald Trump and help his Presidential agenda.

Donald Trump has been said to have failed in controlling the coronavirus crisis in the USA [Source: US News and World Report]
And it is unfortunate that even some scientists have jumped into this bandwagon of personal gainers! On 2 August 2020, Steven Salzberg, a computational biologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland went on record to say that even before clinical trials are completed one can start vaccinating a wider pool of people. And another research group linked to Harvard University said of its untested vaccine:

“Out there in the real world, millions of people are getting sick and very large numbers of people are dying every day,” 

“We don’t believe that our vaccine is nearly that much of a risk to people.”

H Holden Thorp, Editor-in-chief of Science Journals said:

“Short cuts in testing for vaccine safety and efficacy endanger millions of lives in the short term and will damage public confidence in vaccines and in science for a long time to come,”

Also, read Anti-vaccination movement could hamper COVID-19 vaccine acceptability in the masses and fail the vaccine and herd immunity!