Covid-19 Vaccine Development: A Fierce Race to End the Pandemic & Learning from History
Dr Ziad Al Najjar
This book offers a detailed review of Covid-19 pandemic, its impact on the world and the global efforts to develop effective vaccines against the virus. There has been a competitive race between countries and pharmaceutical companies to create a vaccine to end this pandemic. This raises a debate about the true intentions behind this race: Is it for profit, political influence or for recognition? The book presents the most important pandemics and vaccines used against them throughout history from 165 AD until today for the purpose of learning from past experiences.
There are four chapters in this book. The first chapter sheds light on major pandemics that hit humanity, starting from the Antonine Plague in 165 AD to Covid-19 in 2020.
Chapter 2 focuses on the vaccines that were developed at various stages in history to fight those diseases. It also explains the concept of tracking infectiousness using the infectiousness indicator (R0), the notion of importing diseases and the origin of the concept of quarantine and its implementation.
Chapter 3 explains the evolution of the vaccine development process and what the process entails in terms of testing, regulations and manufacturing. It clarifies the new concept of Infodemiology provided by WHO, which helps the fight against false information about Covid-19.
Chapter 4 covers the aggressive race between pharmaceutical companies and countries to create a Covid-19 vaccine. It presents various groundbreaking public and private partnerships that were initiated to develop a vaccine and puts the spotlight on the successful ones. The reader gains basic knowledge about viruses in general, especially Covid-19 and its vaccines. Other concepts such as herd immunity, covid-19 free certificate and immunity passport are also touched upon in this chapter. It provides exhaustive information on diverse Covid-19 vaccines under development in different parts of the world as of February 3, 2021.
Dr. Ziad Yagoub Najjar is a former Adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO) on health promotion in developing countries and AIDS prevention and control in Morocco. He has also served as public health and socio-behavioral research lecturer for the Arab board community health doctors at the Dubai Health Authority, UAE.
Dr. Ziad has been a public health consultant at the UAE’s federal health ministry and a short-term consultant for HIV/AIDS prevention strategic planning for UNICEF in Oman. He has also worked at the UNFPA in Jordan and Syria and for the national strategy and deportation policy in Cairo, Egypt.
Since September 2012, Dr. Ziad has been Regional Operational Manager at Visamed Healthcare Solutions, MENA, for expatriate health with the responsibility to develop strategic national plans. He has also had a two-year stint (2005 -2007) as the Director of Marketing, Media and Communications, at Al-Noor Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE.