The supply of vaccines for COVID-19 may meet up or even outstrip the demand in India by the third quarter of this year, given the number of vaccines being developed in the country and its capacity, AstraZeneca Pharma India Country President and MD Gagan Singh said on Friday.
The pandemic has shown how resilient healthcare is, and how important pillar biopharmaceutical industry is as part of the healthcare ecosystem.
Therefore, support for academic research, a vibrant healthcare system that embraces innovation is going to be very critical, he added.
"I am very hopeful given our enterprise, given the number of vaccines India is developing and the capacity available, hopefully in my own personal read, by quarter 3, we may actually have a situation where supply will meet up the demand or even outstrip,” Singh said.
We must compliment our government also in its efforts towards getting the country in putting the plan for vaccination together and now in the rollout, he added.
For any vaccine to be meaningful in the current pandemic, it has to be made available broadly, equitably and timely.
That is why AstraZeneca globally went around having supply agreements in place towards 3 billion doses covering 160 countries and more importantly at no profit during the pandemic, Singh said.
AstraZeneca’s partnership in India with Serum Institute is a sub-licensing agreement of its molecule and they (Serum Institute) bring in close to 1 billion doses which are extremely important not only for India but also for low and middle income countries, he added.
Talking about the safety and efficacy of the company’s vaccine, Singh said that in the month of December, Lancet enabled us to share a full disclosure of the Oxford programme interim analysis.
The results clearly showed that the vaccine is effective against COVID-19, and in particular with no severe infection and no hospitalisations in the vaccine group, he said, adding that this data was for over 11,000 plus volunteers across multiple countries.
He was speaking in a session on healthcare at a virtual event organised by TiE Delhi-NCR.
At the session, Apollo Hospitals Joint MD Sangita Reddy said that the vaccine is an incredible validation of the capability of India’s manufacturing sector, it is a huge referendum on the global cooperation of sciences and manufacturers to bring something to humanity.