COVID-19: Don’t expect effective vaccine in near future

In a joint statement, experts of the Indian Public Health Association (IPHA), Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM), and Indian Association of Epidemiologists (IAE) said, “Vaccines do not have any role in current ongoing coronavirus pandemic control in India. It must be assumed that an effective vaccine would not be available in near future. We must avoid false sense of hope that this panacea is just around the corner.”

India has crossed tally of 36,91,166 in total with nearly 7 lakh active cases and around 65288 deaths. After all the practices of lockdown, corona cases have yet not under control. India is doing 10lakhs tests per day. Around total of 4 crores test has been conducted till now.

According to a press statement, the health minister noted that India was “much ahead’ than other nations in tackling the highly infectious contagion. He said, “The COVID-19 will significantly come under control by the Deepavali this year. The leaders and common people effectively worked together to fight the pandemic.” The minister had inaugurated ‘Nation First’ webinar series organised by the Anathkumar Foundation.

Reports are stating that vaccine could be in use for general public around the last quarter of year 2020. Depending on the results, some companies say their vaccines could be greenlighted for use as soon as this year.

Now, a handful are starting or nearing the final stage of testing. Approximately 170 Covid-19 vaccines are in development around the world. According to the World Health Organization, each one promising to protect people from the deadly coronavirus and allow them to go back to work and school.

To date, just one coronavirus vaccine has been approved. Sputnik V – formerly known as Gam-COVID-Vac and developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute in Moscow – was approved by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation on 11 August. Experts have raised considerable concern about the vaccine’s safety and efficiency given it has not yet entered Phase 3 clinical trials.

Indian Council of Medical Research director general Balram Bhargava on Tuesday confirmed that the trials for the ‘Covishield’ vaccine, jointly developed by the University of Oxford and Astrazeneca plc, have begun. ICMR is the secondary sponsor to the phase 2 and 3 trial of around 1,600 patients.

Serum Institute, which is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, had in June signed an agreement with British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to supply an additional 1 billion doses, principally for low- and middle-income countries.

As it is a contract manufacturer of the vaccine, the company had secured the Indian drug regulator’s approval to conduct a phase II and III trial as per regulations.

Screening and enrolment of participants in the trial is only done after getting approval from the ethics committee of the hospital. So far, seven hospitals, including BVDU, of the 17 sites have received ethics committee approval, according to the government’s clinical trial registry. As many of corona vaccines are in development across the world with promise of maximum effectiveness. But none of them is expected to be an anti-drug. Besides all of this, most of the vaccines are supposed to be a medicine of disease as a cure. But quality of them is still not confirmed.

Trudeau also said the government will invest C$126 million (72.3 million pounds) over two years to build a biomanufacturing facility at the Human Health Therapeutics Research Centre in Montreal capable of producing up to 2 million doses of a vaccine per month by next year. Canada reached an agreement in principle on Monday with both Novavax Inc and Johnson & Johnson for millions of doses of their experimental coronavirus vaccines, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. Canada`s two agreements follow separate deals with Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc announced weeks ago and are the latest example of countries rushing to secure access to vaccines.

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