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6 local vaccine candidates identified, 30 groups on job Govt Works On Guidelines For Distribution

May 29, 2020 05:22 AM

COURTESY TOI MAY 29

6 local vaccine candidates identified, 30 groups on job
Govt Works On Guidelines For Distribution
Sushmi.Dey@timesgroup.com

New Delhi:

India has identified at least six local vaccine candidates with 30 groups trying to develop a vaccine for Covid-19. Besides, around 10 drugs are being repurposed for use in treatment of the disease and are under different stages of trials, the government said while also highlighting that it was working on guidelines to prioritise distribution of the vaccine once it is available.


Underlining efforts by the scientific community and pharmaceutical companies to develop and manufacture vaccines, drugs and diagnostic kits locally to combat Covid-19, the government said science was the key weapon in the battle against the pandemic.

The government also made it clear that a vaccine was not going to be available to everyone at once, besides taking time to develop. “A vaccine is not a switch that it will be available to everyone from Day 1. In this disease, everybody will need it. So, access is a big challenge,” principal scientific adviser K Vijayraghavan said on Thursday.

He said vaccine development currently took nearly 10 years, but the aim the world over was to find one in a year and this has led to investments being ramped up along with the number of molecules under research, and that it would cost $2-3 billion.


Infection trend may not change, says govt
The novel coronavirus has not exhibited any changes so far that may affect its fundamental properties, indicating that the trend of infections may not see much change, Dr K Vijayraghavan, principal scientific adviser to the government, said. This is significant as the share of Covid-19 patients in India needing critical care may remain low if the infections do not grow rapidly in the days to come, Sushmi Dey reports. P 12

‘4 categories of vaccines being looked at’

We have to speed up regulatory processes, expand manufacturing capacities and build distribution systems. So, instead of $200-300 million, it will cost $2-3 billion,” principal scientific adviser K Vijayraghavan said.

He said four categories of vaccines — mRNA vaccines, attenuated vaccines, inactivated vaccines and adjuvant vaccines — were being looked at currently. Some companies in India are at late pre-clinical stage. These will take time and in the meanwhile, there was no alternative to physical distancing and hand hygiene measures, he added.

Niti Aayog member (health) and head of the medical management committee on Covid-19, V K Paul, said drugs like favipiravir, itolizumab, phytopharmaceutical (a plant-based drug), microbacterium W, convalescent plasma, arbidol, ACQH, HCQ, remdesivir and BCG vaccine were under various stages of trials in India.

The government said there were three lines of research and development. The first was indigenous efforts. The second was global collaborative measures where Indian organisations are taking a lead role and, third, Indian participation in global efforts

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