The novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has demonstrated its potent ability to afflict and paralyse social and economic systems with no regard for techno-economic status.
Quite frankly, social distancing, the use of face masks, hand washing and hand sanitisers are effective but temporary measures that can contain and curtail the spread of Coronavirus with its status of global pandemic.
The development and widespread distribution of vaccines, however, remains the most reliable solution to halting transmission, as well as the ultimate eradication of this virulent organism.
Initial efforts focused on the traditional development approach — using an attenuated version of the virus which is no longer virulent to stimulate antibody production in the human body by mimicking the live virus.
This method requires highly technical series of procedures to ensure the resulting vaccine’s safety for human application.
On the other hand, the use of messenger Ribonucleic Acid (mRNA) offers a shorter, faster and more promising route for attacking the virus.
Messenger RNA are molecules that carry the instructions for protein synthesis copied from the genetic code of an organism that is stored in its Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA).
For instance, to avoid the expense of manually producing insulin, mRNA engineered with its code has been inserted into bacteria, manipulating their natural processes to cheaply produce insulin in large commercial quantities.
This same method is now being used by pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Moderna to produce vaccines that encode mRNA based on the unique genetic sequence of the Coronavirus spike protein.
When the vaccine is introduced into the human body, it programs the immune system to recognize and destroy instances of the virus.
The collective efforts of these two companies alone have yielded vaccine candidates which have been found to be safe and effective in over 90% of trial patients.
An osteopathic practitioner, Dr Carrie Madej. has been vehemently opposed to the use of vaccines by propagating faulty and defective claims.
Contrary to his claims, non of the vaccine candidates carry DNA molecule that causes any mutagenic change in human. The rumours about microchips are baseless. Additionally, there is no intelligence network involved in the administration of any vaccine.
I will therefore encourage Nigeria to take advantage of any vaccine of proven efficacy and safety to fight and conquer the COVID-19 pandemic.