A Moonshot Moment for the Muslims: Making Covid 19 Vaccine before the West and China

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

According to the Pew Research Center in 2015 there were 50 Muslim-majority countries.  Are we able to make our own Covid 19 vaccine?

I was born in Pakistan and am a little bit aware of the news there.  I have been avidly pursuing all news pertaining to Covid 19.  I haven’t seen any discussion from Pakistan to try to develop and implement a vaccine against the Coronavirus, as if we have a complete psychological dependence on the Western world and are waiting for them to make the vaccine for us.

In social media there were jokes being shared about the Muslims praying for the survival of the non-Muslims until they can make a vaccine for the coronavirus.

Joking aside, if the picture of empty Kaaba hurts your feelings and pinches your Muslim identity, then here is your chance to make a difference in whatever capacity you can. At a minimum you could be reading this post and sharing this with friends and family to mobilize public opinion for this effort.

Asian and African countries, with the exception of China, Iran, South Korea and Japan, have been lucky this time and haven’t been hit as hard with this pandemic, which has devastated the Western world in many ways.  This may have to do with BCG vaccination but authoritative proof of this is not available at the present time.  Nevertheless, due to abundance of caution and general safety of BCG and its benefit against some other viral infections we have put out a recommendation: The Muslim Times Recommending Universal BCG Vaccination to Fight the Pandemic.

This is the time to rise to the occasion and use this God given opportunity to better ends. This is high time for a vaccine.

Western vaccines when ready, may not be affordable and may not be available to the third world countries in a timely fashion.

A successful vaccine cannot be made by one person or one hospital.  The governments will have to mobilize the nation, like President John F Kennedy was able to inspire a nation to land on the moon.  It will require the best immunologists from all over the world, the best pharmacists, experts in all aspects of hematology and last but not the least statisticians.  It will require an academic environment and a culture of honesty where true results come out and not some fake news.  It will require the dedication of the Manhattan Project to make the nuclear bomb in USA or at least the dedication of the nuclear program in Pakistan that made her a nuclear country, despite the world’s resistance to that effort.

It would perhaps be even more important for the Muslim psyche than the satisfaction Americans had to see the Apollo mission succeed.

We have 528 years of belittling to recover from, in one field or the other, in one country or the other. The year was 1492 when each and every Muslim was either killed, banished or converted by force in the last stronghold of Granada in Spain.

We did have a bright past before that. In the Muslim Times we have the best collection for the Muslim heritage that is also the best source to refute Islamophobia in the West.

But, I can no longer be satisfied with the past achievements. We crave for the present and the future.

So, which Muslim leader will lead the way and organize this effort. Would it be our own Imran Khan or would this plaque go to some other leader or would we just sit still and consume the next conspiracy theory that comes our way?

Time will tell!  But, we cannot say God did not give us a chance to lead the world.

Additional reading

Why I Remember President Truman on a Regular Basis

We have made a categories to collect important articles about vaccination: For the collection click here

9 replies

  1. Insightful and intriguing perspective. It just emboldens my disbelief in the Muslim leaders or the keepers of Kaaba will do anything.

  2. Lofty thought. If enough people step up and real effort is made, it’s probably worth a try.
    If you spear head this and get a team together, count me in.
    Need less to say, I do have a lot of reservations regarding the honest research, cost, infrastructure, expertise, and much much more.
    Is it doable? Honest answer is I don’t know.
    Do like “ I can’t be satisfied with past achievements. We need to crave for future”

  3. Muslim doctors dominate in various non-Muslim countries such as UK and USA. Yes, why not ? One of them or a team of them might come up with a solution. Inshallah.

  4. Science is a cold and hard thing. If you have never made a vaccine before, then I think it is out of the realm of possibility.
    It is possible to get to the top, but one step at a time.
    Your challenge reflects high aspirations. I would like to issue a much simpler challenge. Once the West or China makes the vaccine just try to replicate it and make your own. I think even this may not be possible.
    Please don’t take it as pessimism more like realism. Sorry.

  5. On Wednesday, Novavax, a Maryland-based biotech company, said it would begin human trials in Australia in mid-May for its vaccine candidate. Novavax is one of more than two dozen companies that have announced promising vaccine programs that are speeding through the early stages of testing unlike ever before.

  6. A vaccine made by the biotech company Moderna is already in a clinical trial, which started March 15. Another one, developed by Inovio Pharmaceuticals, was injected into the first adult volunteers on Monday. The health care giant Johnson & Johnson expects to start clinical trials in September, and has received a nearly $500 million partnership via a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. And experimental vaccines developed by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston are also waiting for permission from the Food and Drug Administration to begin testing in people.

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