India’s Covid-19 vaccination programme has proven to be the world’s largest but how did the nation, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, embark on this journey? To find out the details of a historic and unprecedented battle, check out History TV18’s documentary titled ‘The Vial – India’s Vaccine Story’ on March 24, 2023, at 8 pm.
‘The Vial’ brings to life the inside story of what went into producing the Covid-19 vaccine vial, unfolding the story behind India’s success in developing, manufacturing and delivering the Covid-19 vaccine in unprecedented timelines.
The 60-minute documentary is narrated by renowned actor Manoj Bajpayee. This is the first documentary to feature PM Modi where he speaks in detail about India’s victory over the coronavirus pandemic. History TV18 has released a trailer of the documentary which also features Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla and Microsoft Founder Bill Gates among others.
‘The Vial’ also chronicles the development of the Covishield vaccine --- From the isolation of the strain at Pune’s National Institute of Virology to manufacturing billions of vials of two of the world’s most effective vaccine candidates in record time to cater to the country’s massive population.
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.
Speaking to Network18, Bajpayee said: “India’s Covid-19 vaccine story is a remarkable accomplishment for the country and, as Indians, we all should be aware and proud of it. This film is a tribute to our healthcare professionals and frontline workers who produced the vaccines in unprecedented timelines and executed the vaccination drive, despite several challenges. They are the reason why we are stepping out of our homes confidently today.”
‘The Vial’ takes a closer look at some of the case studies that put the spotlight on the determination of the Indian government and health workers in making vaccines accessible to people even in the remotest areas, braving harsh terrain and landscapes.
Today, a majority of India’s 1.3 billion people have received at least one round of the vaccine --- a herculean task, given the diversity of the country. India also set an example for the world with the Vaccine Maitri initiative through which 232.43 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were provided across 100 countries.