The government took the first step on Monday to potentially procure the first deal for the India COVID-19 vaccine, asking officials of pharma firms, including those who have candidates in clinical trials, to present a road map within three days of their upcoming goals and events.
To tackle the ingrowing pandemic, the government panel has met with the representatives of including Serum Institute of India (SII), Bharat Biotech, and Zydus Cadila. All of these three firms are working to develop the vaccines in the country and are planning to deliver a potent structure soon.
The panel was headed by Niti Aayog’s VK Paul and was co-chaired by the Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan. HT. Adar C Poonawalla, CEO of SII, Krishna Ella, MD of Bharat Biotech, and Pankaj R Patel, Chairman of Zydus Cadila were among the attendees via a video call.
Importantly, the government has also shared the fact that the administration will also closely track the progress of the three testing institutions that have been on the radar of the government. The panel also spoke upon what stages of research they are at and the details of large-scale production as well.
One of the heartwarming results was produced by the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) who has struck a production and clinical trial deal with AstraZeneca, a U.S firm, for the AZD1222 vaccine. This vaccine has been tested in the most number of people across the world.
To tackle any such delay, and taking it as a Plan-B, the government has planned for a ‘Back-Up’ plan under which the administration is considering a group of international drug markers. These firms will cover some named companies from the U.S, U.K, and European countries.
According to an official, the Covid-19 vaccines, that are being developed by the UK’s Oxford-AstraZeneca and United States’ Moderna-NIAID are the top contenders for a strong interest. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is looking at a possible acquisition discussion with such firms.
While the above two are assuring, officials have also considered a Russain company to consider as a potential candidate. Last week, Russian medical institution Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian Ministry became the first coronavirus vaccine to be approved in the world.
“For now, we are looking at the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is in co-production with Serum Institute of India for the Indian market, and the Moderna vaccine, which has also entered phase 3 trials,” this person said, asking not to be identified.
At present, there are 29 vaccines in clinical trials. The government is stepping on a multi-step process to establish a safe and steady process of a positive vaccine shot. While 29 are ongoing, there are 138 more that are in pre-clinical phases, which are in development and animal trials.
On August 11, PM Modi held a meeting with 10 state representatives who accounts for more than 80% of India’s active COVID cases. In his address, PM Modi urged all the dignitaries to follow the National Capital Region (NCR) model and increase the daily testing rates.
As we all are waiting for the India COVID-19 vaccine, it is important for all of us to be patient and follow all the necessary protocols that fall under COVID.
By ramping up the testing rates, all the state government can help the country to control the pandemic. Whilst there is no fixed date until a proper vaccine is available to the general population, each one of us has to take proper measures to safeguard the citizens.
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