This post is originally published in Blockchain.News.
Today, irrespective of which country we are in, all of us are reeling under a new reality that has set in. A reality where each one of us has to fight an outbreak which recently has been deemed a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Novel coronavirus or COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new virus first discovered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since its initial outbreak, this virus has spread to more than 100 countries across the globe, and has affected many thousands of people, claiming lives of roughly 3 – 4% of those affected.
At the time of crisis such as this, technologies like AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain can be leveraged to assist the combat process. Technology companies are coming up with blockchain solutions for tracking virus spread, donations, insurance claims, medical supplies among others to combat coronavirus.
The need of the hour is a potent vaccine which regrettably at this time is not available. Researchers, biotech and pharmaceutical firms are racing against time to create the vaccine for this virus, as well as develop potential treatments for COVID-19. Generally, it takes years before a vaccine reaches mass production from its exploratory phase. Vaccine development crosses various stages starting from exploration to pre-clinical stage, clinical development, regulatory approval to production and distribution with continuous quality control & monitoring. However, at times when such pandemic is staring at the face, the utmost need would be to develop a formidable vaccine, distribute to the larger populace, cull this epidemic and immunize people from such infections at the earliest. This needs to be done in a short span of time, yet following rigorous regulatory procedures and in a trustworthy manner. How can technologies like Blockchain help in such an accelerated vaccine development process?