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Kiran Mazumdar Shaw says COVID-19 vaccine may be available by June 2021

Shaw says vaccine candidates will first be approved for emergency use and full approval will come only after evaluating the durability of response.
Oct 24, 2020 / 01:41 PM IST
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon.
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon.
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Biocon Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has said a vaccine for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, could be available in India by June 2021.

Companies in India and across the globe are in various stages of clinical trials to come out with vaccines for the novel coronavirus. India is the second most-affected country, with more than 7.8 million COVID-19 cases.

"I expect that by January, some of the other vaccines could be approved like AstraZeneca's or one of our own Indian vaccines like the one by Bharat Biotech. If we finish the clinical trials in the next two-three months, even those may be approved by January-February. So I would expect that in Q1FY22 we should have vaccines available in India and other parts of the world," Shaw told Mint.

Also read: Coronavirus vaccine tracker October 23 | Check out the latest developments from around the world

She told the newspaper that these vaccine candidates would be approved for emergency use and full approval would come only after evaluating the durability of responses.

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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According to Shaw, Aadhaar can help the vaccination process, especially with vaccines that might require two doses. She said adult vaccination has never been done at such a large scale.

"I think Aadhaar is the best way to do it as it allows you to do something at a massive scale in such an efficient way unlike any other country can do," she said.

On October 23, Bharat Biotech said it was aiming for a June 2021 launch of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate COVAXIN, which has received approval for Phase-3 clinical trials.

Biocon on October 23 reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 195.4 crore for Q2FY21, a 23.01 percent fall yoy.

"We have been impacted by much higher research and development (R&D) spend that has gone up by almost Rs 44 crore and a net loss of Rs 18 crore in forex compared to a net gain last year, Shaw told Mint.

Follow our full coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic here.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 24, 2020 01:41 pm

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