In the race to get a vaccine
As the coronavirus continues to spread around the globe, companies and academic labs are working at a breakneck pace to develop solutions for economies to be open safely and permanently.
India is the world’s biggest vaccine manufacturer, has a population of 1.3 billion at home to inoculate.
What types of COVID-19 vaccines are being developed?
>Inactivated or weakened virus vaccines use a form of the virus that has been inactivated or weakened so it doesn’t cause disease, but still generates an immune response.
>Protein-based vaccines use harmless fragments of proteins or protein shells that mimic the COVID-19 virus to safely generate an immune response.
>Viral vector vaccines use a virus that has been genetically engineered so that it can’t cause disease, but produces coronavirus proteins to safely generate an immune response.
>RNA and DNA vaccines, a cutting-edge approach that uses genetically engineered RNA or DNA to generate a protein that itself safely prompts an immune response.
India moves fastest to stock up on Covid-19 vaccines
India is the largest buyer of COVID-19 vaccines in the world with 1.6 billion doses.
According to the U.S.-based Duke University, Global Health Innovation Center, India has purchased500 million doses of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate1 billion from the U.S. company Novavax 100 million doses of the Sputnik V candidate from Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute.
COVID-19 vaccines under trial in India
>COVAXIN – Phase III Human Clinical Trial ONGOING.
>Covishield – Participants enrollment and vaccination of Phase II/III Human Clinical Trial COMPLETED.
>ZyCoV-D – Phase II Human Clinical Trial ONGOING
>Sputinik – Phase II Human Clinical Trial ONGOING
>Biological E’s novel Covid-19 vaccine – Phase I/II Human Clinical Trial ONGOING
Vaccination drive to begin soon
>Getting vaccinated for coronavirus will be voluntary.
>During the first phase, nearly 30 crore people will receive the jab.
>The COVID-19 vaccine will be offered first to healthcare workers, frontline workers and to persons above 50 years of age.
>Pfizer, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have applied for market authorisation for their vaccines.
>The vaccination drive will start once the country approves the emergency use of any of the vaccine candidates.
Registration must for COVID-19 vaccine
The health ministry has developed a digital platform ‘Co-WIN‘ for real-time monitoring of coronavirus vaccine. It will enable people to get themselves registered for vaccination. Only pre-registered beneficiaries will be vaccinated as per the prioritisation. Following online registration, the beneficiary will receive SMS on their registered mobile number about the due date, place and time of vaccination.
India immunisation programmes are one of the largest in the world. Hence, there are unprecedented challenges.
>Supply chain and logistics
India will need enough auto-disabled syringes that will prevent reuse and possible reinfection. Then there are questions about smooth supplies of medical glass vials and availability of cold chain stores. And what about the disposal of the huge amount of medical waste that will be generated by this mass vaccination drive?
>Shortage of trained professionals
Nearly four million doctors and nurses power India’s immunisation programme, but India will need more trained professionals to carry out Covid vaccinations.
>Questions about Equity and Prioritization
In a country where the majority of healthcare is private, will a private health worker get priority over a public one? Will permanent workers get priority over people working on contracts?
>If elderly people with underlying conditions are eligible for early shots, how will different comorbidities be prioritised?
Rolling out the vaccine in all the 30 states will not be possible. So will early supplies go to states worst-hit by the pandemic?
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