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COVID-19: PM Modi urges vaccine manufacturers to continue scaling up production

PM Modi has interacted with top vaccine manufacturers -- Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Dr Reddy's Labs, Gennova Biopharmaceuticals, Zydus Cadila, Biological E- via video conference on April 20.

April 21, 2021 / 07:30 AM IST
PM Modi holds virtual meet with vaccine manufacturers.

PM Modi holds virtual meet with vaccine manufacturers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during an interaction with COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, urged them to continue ramping up the production of vaccines so that people can be vaccinated in the shortest possible time. Believing in the ability of vaccine manufacturers, Modi credited them for developing and manufacturing vaccines in record time.

Modi was interacting with top vaccine manufacturers - Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech, Dr Reddy's Labs, Gennova Biopharmaceuticals, Zydus Cadila, Biological E- via video conference on April 20.

The meeting comes a day after the Centre announced that all Indians above 18 years of age will be eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine from May 1.

On April 19, PM Modi held a series of discussions with top doctors and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry. He also had meetings with government officials and other stakeholders regarding the COVID-19 situation and vaccination drive.

There has been a strong public-private partnership in the entire vaccine development process, remarked Modi. He also said that the government ensured that all vaccine manufacturers not only get all possible help and logistic support, but also the process of vaccine approval is speedy and scientific.

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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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Going forward, he has assured all possible support and smooth approval process for the vaccine candidates which are currently under trial phase.

The prime minister also emphasised the role the private healthcare sector has played in India's COVID-19 fight. He added in the coming days, the private sector will play an even more active role in the vaccination drive. This will require better coordination between hospitals and the industry, he noted.
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