The Momentum of digitization continues as the world awaits vaccine
The giant pharmaceutical company, Moderna, has recently announced a vaccine with an efficacy of 94.5% in preventing Covid-19, according to an interim analysis of a 30,000-patient clinical trial. The development comes barely one week after Pfizer and BioNTech said their respective Covid-19 vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective in its own 60,000-patient clinical trial.
Meanwhile, the University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca plc, has announces interim trial data from its Phase III trials that show its candidate vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-2019, is effective at preventing COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) and offers a high level of protection.
The announcements have boosted optimism that the pandemic, which has and continues to wreak havoc around the globe, is nearing its end and raised hopes that the world will be returning to normalcy in the near future. The pandemic has killed 1.3 million people worldwide so far and infected at least 54.5 million and counting.
Rollout to start in December
The head of the United States government’s coronavirus vaccine effort has said that the first doses of an inoculant will “hopefully” be administered by mid-December.
Dr Moncef Slaoui made the comments in an interview with CNN, just two days after Pfizer and BioNTech applied for emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their coronavirus vaccine.
A meeting involving FDA vaccine advisers reportedly will be held from December 8 to 10 to discuss approving vaccines.
“Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunisation sites within 24 hours from the approval,” said Slaoui, who heads the so-called Operation Warp Speed, a federal programme that scales up the manufacturing of promising vaccines as they are developed.
“So, I expect maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or the 12th of December,” he said.
In the meantime, COVID-19 pandemic featured prominently in the just concluded virtual G20 Summit hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the theme of “Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century for All”. The Summit was held virtually due to COVID-19 which has rendered in-persons meetings improbable, if not impossible.
The pandemic has highlighted the urgent need to harness IT to conduct businesses and activities in an increasingly digitized and virtual world. Though COVID-19 has posed enormous challenges, it has equally offered unprecedented opportunities to adapt to digitization, given its numerous dividends.
Pledge to help the developing nations with Covid vaccines
Reuters have reported that leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies have pledged to pay for a fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, drugs and tests around the world so that less developed countries are not left out and to extend debt relief to them.
In the same vein, the European Union has called for $4.5 billion US by the end of the year from the G20 to pay for COVID-19 fighting tools for developing countries. Less developed nations will not only face financial challenges to acquire the vaccine but the transportation will prove nightmarish, too, especially in Africa.
Too soon to celebrate?
After almost a year, hopes are high that the world is set to declare victory over Covid-19 even though experts are cautioning that it’s too soon to celebrate as it will take months, if not more, to get the vaccine to every corner of the world. And until then, the world should maintain the momentum by pursuing digitization efforts in order to continue business during the pandemic.