Though the safety pause, lack of clinical trials to storage and administration hiccups, vaccines can work better than medicines in coronavirus treatment.
As fears over safety and efficacy loom wide, a COVID-19 vaccine still might be a safer and a more workable bet in fighting the pandemic than medicines, feel experts.Here are the reasons why:
Medicines may not work for everyone
One of the biggest problems with medicines being used right now is their limited workability. These medicines may carry potent enzymes and properties which work to target the virus, but depending on your age, severity and sensitivity, COVID medicines may not work for everyone. It is also a cumbersome task to design different medicines for different symptoms.
For example, some of the most talked and beneficial drugs used right now, such as dexamethasone and redeliver, do not work for everyone diagnosed with COVID-19. While dexamethasone has been found to be the most effective for people with moderate or severe COVID.
1. Tocilizumab, which is being used as an investigational therapy right now works as an immunosuppressant. If the dosage is not disproportionately, it can lead to blood infections, swelling and shock the body.
2. Remdesivir, which is an anti-viral medication has also been linked to limited use, only reserved for emergent use initially.3. Some people can also be allergic to certain medications. Age factor and using other medications can also deem certain treatment drugs ineffective.
5. Other treatment options, such as plasma therapy have still not been found to be completely effective for everyone.
Side effects can put you at risk too
Another complication with experimental medicinal use can be side-effects. The most distrustful side-effects arose from the usage of an anti-malarial drug, Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). While the drug seemed to work at first, several studies found that patients who were administered HCQ for COVID treatment showed signs of heart and lung damage. A report tabled in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), underlined that it did not work for critically ill patients. Further, another study done in New York, said HCQ did not show extensive results and even induced certain side-effects not seen before.
Considering the risks, the side-effects of an experimental drug can even increase the severity of the infection.
Pricing is an issue
Controversies arose when patients complained of surge pricing and non-availability of certain life-saving COVID medicines.
Drugs like remdesivir were being black marketed for as much as Rs. 60,000.
Hospitalisation and treatment charges also raised bills for so many families. This again is a big risk factor for medicines.
Barring one or two groups, pharma companies are in talks to supply vaccines at marginal prices right now. Covishield, Oxford University's vaccine candidate is rumoured to be sold at Rs. 250 per dose, making it one of the cheapest under offering right now and offer lasting protection as well.