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COVID-19 vaccine: PM Narendra Modi, envoys from 100 countries likely to visit Pune

PM Narendra Modi's visit, if it takes place, would be aimed at reviewing the status of the vaccine candidate for coronavirus infection and to know about its launch.

November 24, 2020 / 09:59 PM IST
Representative Image (Image: Reuters)

Representative Image (Image: Reuters)

Ambassadors and envoys from 100 countries will visit Serum Institute of India and Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd on December 4 amid the coronavirus outbreak and race for vaccines to combat the infection, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Pune Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao said there was a possibility that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would also visit Pune, adding "if the visit happens, it would be at Serum Institute of India and Gennova Biophramaceuticals".

The Central Drug Standard Control Organisation has granted licence permission for manufacture of COVID-19 vaccine for pre-clinical test, examination and analysis to seven firms, two of which are Serum Institute of India and Gennova Biopharmaceuticals.

Also Read | Why AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID vaccine is best suited for India over Pfizer, Moderna shots

The PM's visit, if it takes place, would be aimed at reviewing the status of the vaccine candidate for coronavirus infection and to know about its launch, production and distribution mechanisms, Rao said.

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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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"We have not received any official communication from the PMO. However, we are making preparations for the probable visit (of the PM)," Rao told reporters.

He said the visit of the ambassadors was to take place on November 27, but it has now been rescheduled to December 4.

Also Read | Sputnik V shows 91.4% efficacy in second interim analysis on day 28 after first dose

Serum Institute of India, the worlds largest vaccine maker, has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and the Oxford University for COVID-19 vaccine.
PTI
first published: Nov 24, 2020 09:59 pm

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