With three vaccine trials going on at present and the fourth one getting approval on Saturday, India’s quest for an effective Covid-19 vaccine is on the right track. The government has also started making logistical arrangement for the storage of vaccines — a crucial aspect in vaccine delivery. About 1 lakh refrigerators will be required to store vaccines, a report has said. The Centre has begun identifying both government and private facilities to create hubs for vaccine storage.
Here are the top developments regarding India’s vaccine preparation
1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suggested an efficient mechanism like that of Indian elections — to distribute vaccines.
2. Speedy delivery of vaccines, once approved, should be the focus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.
3. The vaccine delivery system must be IT-enabled, the PM has said.
4. Catering to the population of the country is not enough. Bangladesh, Myanmar, Qatar and Bhutan have requested for clinical trials of Indian vaccines in their countries, PM Modi has said.
5. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has allowed Dr Reddy’s to conduct clinical trial of Russia’s Sputnik V. The vaccine — the first registered vaccine against Covid-19 in the world — was seen with doubt as its clinical trial was conducted on a small population.
6. Bharat Biotech, which is developing an indigenous vaccine in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research, is cutting the trial size of phase 2 so that it can move to phase 3. The results so far have been positive.
7. Pune’s Serum Institute of India, which is conducting the phase 2 and phase 3 trials of Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine, hopes to produce 60 to 70 million vaccine doses by December. By March, the vaccines are likely to hit the market after which the vaccine-maker will scale up the production.
8. Meanwhile, the Centre has said that no major mutation was found in Covid-19 virus in India. There have been two pan-India researches, Centre has said.
9. For the first time in September, the number of active Covid-19 cases in India dipped below 800,000 on Friday.
10. However, the dip should not lead to complacency, experts and minister have warned, as a spike is apprehended in the upcoming festive season.