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Covid-19 or Coronavirus disease-2019, caused by the novel Coronavirus (SARS CoV-2), continues to be a major global public health crisis. There is no specific drug for its treatment and no immunity against the virus. Allowing herd immunity to develop naturally would add to the already high morbidity and mortality and it may take many years. But, the speed with which the virus is spreading leaves us with no choice but to have a vaccine, or at least an emergency-use vaccine ready for use, at the earliest. There are frantic efforts across the world to develop a vaccine. Different approaches such as inactivated and attenuated vaccines, viral vector-based vaccines and DNA- and RNA-based vaccines are being studied. Many vaccines have shown promise in preclinical studies; many have completed or are in phase 1 trials. A safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19 is eagerly awaited. But, even when a vaccine is available, public health measures such as personal hygiene, social distancing, will be equally important to reduce disease transmission. In this article, we give a brief overview of the types of vaccines and the various vaccine initiatives around the world.
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