Covid-19 vaccine developed in India show promising resultsTop Stories

June 11, 2020 13:16
Covid-19 vaccine developed in India show promising results

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With over 7 million people infected and over 440,000 reported deaths across the world, Covid-19 vaccine is a need of the hour. Several countries are working consistently to develop a viable vaccine that would help save people from the wrath of the virus.

Rajiv Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation reported that the vaccine that is being developed in India is among one of the most promising options in the world.

During an interview conducted on Politico’s Global Translations program, Shah exclaimed that United States needs to lead the global response much like how they did during the time of the Ebola outbreak.

Over 100 initiatives are being simultaneously underway to help the world find a vaccine for Covid-19. Alongside, over 10 clinical trials are also being conducted.

“The Serum Institute of India and Oxford are working together on a particularly promising vaccine candidate,” said Shah.

Shah further estimated that the vaccine will likely be done within a matter of 12 to 18 months, to further enhance scaled production and distribution. Shah also emphasized saying that when the vaccine is ready and available, it is important for countries to ensure that the vaccine reaches people who are not just wealthy but even to the ones who can’t afford it.

Dr. Purvi Parikh, an immunologist at New York University Langone Health, who is currently working with one of the clinical trials of a vaccine reported that the Serum Institute vaccine is credible at this point.

“This is a great initiative to provide vaccines to one of the most densely populated regions of the world that need it the most,” said Dr. Parikh.

She further added saying that the need for the large-scale vaccine trials to assess the safety and the efficacy of the vaccines is necessary before the mass distribution of the vaccine is done.

“We are currently testing one of the Pfizer vaccine’s safety and efficacy on healthy individuals here at NYU Langone’s vaccine center and likely will be testing additional vaccines from other companies before the summer’s end,” said Dr. Parikh.

In U.S, Shah’s foundation has been consistently pushing the officials for conducting nationwide testing through the National Testing Plan. He has also been urging them to bring in the public and the private sectors together, even the Republicans and Democrats to stand united during this time for fighting the virus.

Shah said that U.S has scaled up the testing process from testing 7000 a day to testing 3 million people in a week. By Fall, the number of tests is going to increase to 30 million a week, deeming it safe for the schools to reopen again.

The Rockefeller Foundation has also been working to call for a $100 billion investment from the government in the testing initiative. Out of this Congress has approved $25 billion under the CARES act. Shah expects that the rest would be sanctioned in the near future.

One of the main stances in this is the equity of access. Given that this is a global threat, it is necessary that there is a global response for the same.

That aside, he said that if the Serum institute vaccine is the first to be developed successfully, it would be first available for the Indians, given that it is being prepared in the country.

“For starters, something like 4 billion to 5 billion doses of the vaccine would be needed,” Shah estimated.

Shah further exclaimed saying that when he was leading USAID, that America still plays a crucial role in global effort. The world still looks up to this Superpower.

The Serum Institute of India is the biggest vaccine producer in the world by the number of doses that are sold globally. According to the statistics, 65% of the world’s children receive a vaccine that has been developed by Serum Institute.

The vaccines produced by Serum Institute are accredited by World Health Organisation, and are used in over 170 countries across the world for their national immunization programmes.

By Somapika Dutta

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