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COVID-19 drug shortage: Remdesivir vials being sold for Rs 6,000 on OLX

Remdesivir vials, which have seen a huge surge in demand in India, are being sold on the classified advertising website. OLX users from Gujarat and Maharashtra have listed Remdesivir vials for sale on the platform.

April 16, 2021 / 08:05 PM IST
Remdesivir [Image: Reuters]

Remdesivir [Image: Reuters]

At a time when India has been hit by an acute shortage of COVID-19 treatment drug Remdesivir in the wake of the second wave of the pandemic, vials of the anti-viral medicine are being sold on OLX.

Remdesivir vials, which have seen a huge surge in demand in India, are being sold on the classified advertising website. OLX users from Gujarat and Maharashtra have listed Remdesivir vials for sale on the platform.

The Remdesivir vials are being sold at steep rates of Rs 5,000-6,000 on OLX even as people are queuing up outside pharmacies to buy the drug, according to an India Today report citing India Today TV.

The anti-viral drugs were being sold on the platform even though OLX has a policy against selling medicines.

The news comes amid reports of people getting arrested for black marketing Remdesivir injections.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

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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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Moneycontrol News
first published: Apr 16, 2021 08:05 pm

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