Vaccine- A Ray of Hope

Charu Yeotikar

This article is concerning the contribution of science and technology for the humanity. Existence of human race in various forms has been on the earth from a very long time. Till today we as human beings and civilizations have come a long way. The comfortable lives we are leading today in comparison with our predecessors is due to small inventions and discoveries made by various people at different times. The accumulation of all these inventions step by step has enriched our lives. As inventions were in various fields like transport, mining, infrastructure, communication, arms, agriculture, medicine etc. it is difficult to know who were the pioneers in their respective fields. But one thing is sure who ever led the first stone the next climbed one step ahead and that is how our ladder reached beyond our solar system.

Festivals always have been a part of our culture. Apart from Independence Day and Republic Day we celebrate many religious and cultural festivals. We are grateful to all those great men and women who guided our countrymen from time to time. They might be religious, spiritual, political or social figures. We celebrate birth and death anniversaries of these great men and women. All the countries have their own heroes and they worship them in one or other way. Actually these heroes think about their own people and their own countries and serve them. So their glory is bound to their own countries but there are some people who do not think of their countries and their countrymen only but think of whole humanity. I am referring to the scientists whose inventions and discoveries brought immense changes in lives of millions of people.

Scientific research is not an easy task. The researcher isolate himself from family and society and keep himself busy in his chosen field. All his faculties, mind, time and energy are devoted to his research. Sometimes it takes years to come to a conclusion. Many times researches turn out to be failed and all the time and energy spent on it is wasted. Even it has happened that research is on one topic and clues are obtained for another topic. As science is based on observations it was initially called study of nature. And nature is so mysterious that what it wants to reveal it will reveal and what it does not want to reveal remains hidden. May be nature has a plan to remove the curtain at an appropriate time. Man is very zealous about solving and unfolding the hidden mysteries of nature and thinks that he can conquer the nature but suddenly furious nature teaches man a lesson that nature is untamed and do not like to be disturbed. May be one-day man will learn to live with nature with harmony and then most of the environmental issues will be dissolved. So after going through all the pains when an invention or a discovery is achieved it does not belong to the researcher it is for mankind.

There are number of such researches in the fields of medicines, agriculture, communication, transport where the world is benefitted and humanity is enriched. The world enjoys the fruit of research but forget the researcher. Do we celebrate birth and death anniversaries of scientists as that of political leaders?  By their hard work scientists made our lives comfortable.

Nobody knows who invented the wheel but it was the foundation stone of our transportation. From that small wheel to our space craft definitely technology have taken a long jump. Will we stop here? No man’s desire to travel among the galaxies will try to build better and faster space crafts. That is what technology is, never rests, never stops and open new doors and accepts challenges. Where this unending journey will take man nobody knows but one thing is sure the motor of technology will never stop. Technology has two faces a brighter one uplifting the lives of people and the darker one damaging the environment without thinking the after effects of researches.

Man is the greediest animal on the planet. Its avariciousness has no ending. Everyone knows that his life span on this earth is of a short duration and no one can carry anything from here after death, even than man accumulates much more than his requirements. This avaricious temperament of man is responsible for the loss of natural resources, destruction of animals and plant kingdom and ultimately damage to the environment which is affecting his own existence on the earth.

It’s very difficult to rate the unaccountable destructive inventions but the most constructive inventions were from medical sciences. The only tool the world is talking about against corona is vaccine.

Do you know how you encounter with a vaccine as a child? your body was injected with number of doses to develop immunity to fight against various diseases.

 Edward Jenner is considered the founder of modern vaccinology in the west. Vaccines were practiced in China in 17th century. Jenner developed first small pox vaccine in 1798.Louis Pasteur in 1897 developed vaccine on cholera. In 1923 Alexander Glenny created Tetanus vaccine. Then from 1950 came the age of oral vaccine which was developed by Dr. Jonas Salk for polio.

Immunity is the ability to avoid or not to be affected by diseases. Men have three types of immunity – innate, adaptive and passive. Innate immunity – everyone is born with innate or natural immunity. Adaptive immunity – it develops throughout our lives when we are exposed to diseases. Passive immunity – it is borrowed from another source and it lasts for a short time. When our body senses foreign substances called antigens the immune system works to recognize the antigen and get rid of them. Antibody is the primary element of adaptive immunity that is designed to pre-exist at protective levels and be present during re exposure to a viral pathogen. An immunization introduces the body to an antigen in a way that does not make some one sick but it does make the body make antibodies that will protect the person from future attack by the germs. Most anti-viral vaccines work by introducing antibodies for surface glycoproteins of enveloped virus of capsid proteins of non-enveloped virus.

Vaccines have saved lives of millions of children all over the world. Not only children but adults also need immunization to help them prevent getting and spreading serious diseases that could result in poor health. Top ten vaccine preventable diseases are measles, whooping cough, flu , polio, pneumococcal  disease, tetanus, meningococcal disease , hepatitis B, mumps, hib (Hemophilic Influenza type B). Health care workers are at risk exposure to serious and sometimes deadly diseases so they are vaccinated. For better health of fetus pregnant women are also vaccinated.  Even in some countries migrated people are permitted only if they are vaccinated for certain diseases.

When Covid -19 virus affected the world and anew pandemic spread which the medical science was not aware of, but soon pharmaceutical laboratories started research work and soon number of vaccines of different companies came in market to fight against Covid –19 and its variants. We can be proud of that our country is producing two types of vaccine on the largest scale. You might have heard that most of our citizens are treated free of charge by Covishield and Covaxin which are manufactured in our country.

It is considered that Covid -19 is a manmade virus prepared in Wuhan laboratory of China. That is an example of unaccountable destructive research and production of vaccine for Covid -19 is constructive research.   


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