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India likely to have COVID-19 vaccine within days: AIIMS Director

AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria called the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate a "big step forward" not just for India but several parts of the world as well.

December 31, 2020 / 09:04 AM IST

India is likely to have the COVID-19 vaccine within days, AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria on December 30 has said.

Speaking to ANI, Guleria said sufficient data was available from Serum Institute of India (SII) on the Oxford-AstraZenca vaccine against the coronavirus.

"Now, we have a data, and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved based on the studies in UK, Brazil and South Africa. There is also data from Serum Institute of India (SII). I think, once the data is shown to the regulatory authority, we should get approval for the vaccine in the county within a few days. I would say days rather than weeks or months," Guleria told the news agency.

Guleria called the approval of the Oxford-AstraZenca vaccine candidate a "big step forward" not just for India but several parts of the world as well.

Also read: AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine | 5 things to know about landmark UK vaccine

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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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He added that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was easy to store and transport since it required temperatures 2 to 8 degrees centigrade, similar to that of a fridge.

"This vaccine can be stored at two to eight degrees centigrade. Therefore it would be easy to store and transportation. Storage can be done using a simple fridge rather than what is required in the Pfizer vaccine of minus 70 degrees centigrade," Guleria told ANI.

In India, Pune-based SII will manufacture the vaccine developed by British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Also read: Expert panel to meet on January 1 to review data on Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech COVID-19 vaccines

The nod for the vaccine candidate in the UK will strengthen the case for quick approval of the SII's application for emergency use in India.

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) said an expert panel would meet on January 1 to further review applications by SII and Bharat Biotech for their vaccine candidates.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Dec 31, 2020 09:04 am

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