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Coronavirus Vaccine Update: Three more 'Made in India' COVID-19 vaccines on way

Three companies -- Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Serum Institute of India, and Biological E -- are preparing to submit data for approval of their vaccines or to start phase-3 trials

February 24, 2021 / 11:58 AM IST
Representative image: Reuters

Representative image: Reuters

More 'Made in India' coronavirus vaccines may launch in near future as three companies -- Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Serum Institute of India, and Biological E -- are preparing to submit data for approval of their vaccines or to start phase-3 trials.

This has raised hopes of additional supplies for immunisation programme of India, which has recorded over 1.10 crore COVID-19 cases and more than 1.56 lakh related deaths so far.

The country's inoculation drive is currently using two vaccines - Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from the Oxford/AstraZeneca stable being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). The vaccines are being administered to healthcare and frontline workers across the country.

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Biological E, which has tied up with vaccine maker Johnson & Johnson and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, is planning to begin the Phase 3 trial of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate licensed from Baylor College next week, reported Business Today.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Also, Dr Reddy's has approached the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use authorisation (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. In September 2020, the Hyderabad-based firm partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to conduct the clinical trials of Sputnik V and for its distribution rights in India. The Russian COVID-19 vaccine has demonstrated an efficacy rate of 91.6 percent in the interim analysis of phase 3 clinical trial, which included data on 19,866 volunteers in Russia.

Also read | Delhi makes negative COVID-19 test report mandatory for people coming from these 5 states

The SII is manufacturing another vaccine in the country besides Covishield, which has already entered the market, said the report. The Pune-based firm is developing the vaccine of US drugmaker Novavax in India, which is expected to come to the market in the first half of 2021, added the report.

A total of 1,21,65,598 beneficiaries have so far been vaccinated for COVID-19 through 2,54,356 sessions held, according to a provisional report of the Union Health Ministry till 7 am on February 24. Of these, 64,98,300 healthcare workers and 42,68,898  frontline workers received their first dose of the vaccine, and 13,98,400 healthcare workers received the second dose, it said.

Follow our full coverage on COVID-19 here.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Feb 24, 2021 11:58 am

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