Indian vaccine maker Bharat Biotech said on Monday it has resumed export of its COVID-19 shot, Covaxin, and has executed long-pending orders in November.
The company also said exports to additional countries will commence from December, according to a statement it shared on Twitter.
— BharatBiotech (@BharatBiotech) November 29, 2021
It was not immediately clear whether or not these exports were made under the global vaccine-sharing facility COVAX.
Covaxin, which is 78% effective against severe cases of COVID-19, was approved for emergency use listing by the World Health Organization earlier this month.
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.
It is the only homegrown vaccine being used in India's vaccination programme, although it accounts for only about 11% of the nearly 1.23 billion doses administered so far.
India restarted on Friday exports of COVID-19 shots to COVAX for the first time since April. Serum Institute of India, the world's biggest vaccine maker, said it was able to recommence exports as it beat its target of producing 1 billion doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine ahead of time.