Covid-19 Vaccine India to Play A Crucial Role – Despite early-stage clinical findings of the backed vaccine Oxford-Astrazeneca showing promising and encouraging effects, further research is required to conclude the function of the same. As there are many advantages and safety issues from the data until now; the vaccine manufacturer has joined up with many pharmaceutical and drug manufacturers across the globe to accelerate production. AstraZeneca has vowed to have more than a billion doses for the same. One of the top producers will be the Indian Serum Institute (SII), Pune, which is currently pursuing licensing to start production work. Part of their Phase III trials will be in India next month.
Where Is India Standing Right Now?
There is no question that many pharmaceutical firms and researchers are knocking at the doorstep of India. It’s said the country is one of the leading exporters and vaccine producers. In view of this, a leading scientist, Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, has said India would play a major role in providing large vaccines.
Pollard & Bhargava on India’s Role:
Speaking to The Hindu, Pollard, gave insights on how to implement the vaccine. This is about in the future, what proportion of the population will be immunized and who will have access to it first.
He said, “It is difficult to respond as it is assessed by how many cases there are in the population we have vaccinated. We can only know whether we have vaccine safety or whether we can avoid infection in our vaccine recipient population. And that is determined by how much virus transmission there is in the community we function in. I can tell you a lot about the volume of transmission last week. However, I don’t know how much transmission next week will be. This is what we need to know regarding the vaccine’s safety provided. I might answer your question if I knew the future, but I don’t.”
In a previous briefing, ICMR head Balram Bhargava said that India will have a considerable part to play in the development of vaccines, as the output size is one of the highest globally.
We need to have enough doses of the vaccine at our fingertips. And then we need to prepare ourselves to vaccinate enough people to stop the virus in its tracks. But that’s quite a big deal.
Firstly, you have to produce it on a massive scale for a nation like India to be able to vaccinate a large segment of the population. Then you need to go out and produce the vaccine on a huge scale. This is a big challenge, too. And if you have a vaccine and you have enough doses. Everybody’s going to be a massive, mass vaccination campaign to prevent infection.
Serum Institute recently said they are optimistic about launching phase III trials of the Oxford vaccine, about being dubbed ‘Covishield’ by August in India and wrapped by November. Adar Poonawalla also said in an interaction that they are optimistic. They will generate up to 300 million doses by December. Half of them will be going to India and the other half to other developing nations as needs arise.
Poonawalla also agreed with Pollard’s comment, adding that pricing is not going to be a big concern. With the company talking about capping the vaccine price at Rs. 1000 because they don’t want to “make a profit from the pandemic.”