Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 30 held a virtual meeting with three teams working on developing and manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine, and said they should take extra efforts to inform people in simple language about the vaccine and related matters such as its efficacy.
A statement from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said that PM Modi also asked the companies, represented by these teams, to come out with their suggestions and ideas regarding the regulatory processes and related matters.
COVID-19 Vaccine Watch: What you need to know about manufacturing and pricing
"The PM advised all the departments concerned to engage with the manufacturers and seek to resolve matters so that the efforts by these companies bear fruit in order to serve the needs of the country and the entire world," it added. These teams were from Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd. Pune, Biological E Ltd. Hyderabad and Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd. Hyderabad.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
"The prime minister appreciated the efforts being taken by scientists in these companies to come out with a vaccine solution to tackle COVID-19. The potential of various platforms for vaccine development was also discussed," the statement said.
"Matters relating to logistics, transport, cold chain etc in respect of delivering the vaccines were also discussed. All the vaccine candidates discussed are at different stages of trials and detailed data and results are expected early next year onwards," it added.
PM Modi had on November 28 visited Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune to review the development and manufacturing process of coronavirus vaccines at facilities in these cities.
The total coronavirus cases in India have mounted to 94.31 lakh with 38,772 new infections, while the death toll climbed to 1.37 lakh after 443 more fatalities were reported, according to the Union Health Ministry data.Check India's coronavirus state-wise tally here