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COVID-19 vaccination | US to send 20 million AstraZeneca doses to India: Report

Earlier reports said the US had 10 million of the vaccine doses in stock and was expected to manufacture another 50 million by June.

April 30, 2021 / 09:03 AM IST
The agreement is for 20 million AstraZeneca doses

The agreement is for 20 million AstraZeneca doses

The United States will send 20 million doses of its spare AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines to India. It has also agreed to divert ‘sufficient’ Millipore filters to India so that the country can boost domestic production of up to 18 million more doses of the vaccine.

Further, the US will be sending 17 oxygen generator plants and 20,000 doses of Remdesivir in its first tranche of supplies expected over this week and the next, The Economic Times reported.

The agreement is for 20 million AstraZeneca doses, but a timeline is “yet to be specified”, sources told the paper.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

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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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Earlier reports said the US had 10 million of the vaccine doses in stock and was expected to manufacture another 50 million by June.

In India, the AstraZeneca vaccine is being produced as ‘Covishield’ by Adar Poonawala’s Serum Institute of India (SII).

Apart from the US, 39 other countries have “pitched in with urgently needed resources”, foreign secretary Harsh Shringla said on April 29. He added that India previously supplied essential pharmaceutical products such as paracetamol, Remdesivir and hydroxychloroquine, to these countries.

Meanwhile ANI reported that a flight bringing in oxygen support, oxygen concentrators and oxygen generation units, personal protective equipment (PPE), vaccine manufacturing supplies, rapid diagnostic test, therapeutics and public health assistance has arrived today in the capital Delhi.

It added that more such flights are expected within this week.

Apart from the US, China has said that it will ensure that cargo flights carrying medical supplies will remain operational after Sichuan Airlines, which runs 10 such flights a day to India, suspended operations.

Shringla said that the government was in touch with Chinese authorities to “have as much connectivity open”.

Russia also supplied more than 22 tonnes of medical supplies including oxygen plants on April 28. Italy has pledged to send oxygen production systems, while Bahrain gifted the country a 40 MT og oxygen shipment to be brought in by the Indian Navy and Kuwait another 185 MT system.

Further, Egypt will supply additional Remdesivir doses. India is expecting a total of 550 oxygen generation plants from around the globe.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 30, 2021 09:03 am
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