How the blockchain is helping in developing a vaccine to cure COVID-19?
Today, all the countries are facing a common enemy, which is the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus that started in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has spread and reached more than 17 million people and killing around 3 to 4 percent of them. With its very high and speedy spreadability, the search for solutions has become extensive. Many technologies are being used to try to develop a vaccine, and one of them is the BlockChain technology.
The need for today’s problem is clear; a vaccine against COVID-19. However, developing such a vaccine could take years before reaching a high number of people. Also, many stages should be crossed until the reach of this final product. In this case, how can blockchain contribute to developing a vaccine to cure COVID-19? Let’s explore the situation following every phase of the development of the vaccine.
This is the phase where intensive research is conducted. In this phase, scientists work on the identification of an antigen which is a substance that helps induce an immune response. The virus is isolated to recognize its genome sequence, which biotech firms use in order to detect antigens. Blockchain can be used in this phase as a collaboration instrument were secured and time-bound data is used. The data comprise genetic material that helps trace the source of each sequence if needed.
In this phase, the vaccine is developed and evaluated. The test results are shared using the blockchain concept to shed light on the authenticity of the data. This helps different pharmaceutical and biotech companies in sharing their results and collaborating to get a trusted final product, in a safe environment.
Clinical development phase
In this phase, the vaccine is tested on humans following different stages. The results are shared using blockchain. Also, the counter effects of the vaccines are detailed and shared to get faster approval for wider use of the vaccine. Blockchain is also used to ensure and protect the privacy of the volunteers. Also, the side effects and efficacy can be tracked at every stage of trials, which can be powerful proof for agencies such as FDA, for rejecting or approving the product.
Regulatory review and approval phase
In this phase, the vaccine awaits the approval of the FDA. The FDA can be part of the network of pharmaceutical and biotech firms, who monitor the trials and use the information provided to give their consent.
Mass production and distribution phase
Mass production and distribution can be made easier if the manufacturing process was available on a trusted and absolute source like the blockchain. This will help to make the standard verification faster, economizing paperwork, and avoiding fake data. Also, given that blockchain can help in tracking the shipping process of the vaccine, counterfeit products won’t be a problem to be handled.
Quality control phase
The service providers and healthcare professionals who have access to the vaccine can use blockchain technology to add more data about its effectiveness.