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Tata Sons may partner with Moderna to launch COVID-19 vaccine in India: Report

India has begun its immunisation programme against COVID-19 with two vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin.

January 25, 2021 / 10:15 AM IST
Source: Reuters

Source: Reuters

Tata Medical & Diagnostics, a new unit of Tata Sons, has begun talks with US-based Moderna to form a partnership and launch its vaccine against COVID-19 in India.

The company may partner with the Centre's Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) to conduct clinical trials of Moderna's jab, The Economic Times reported.

Moneycontrol could not independently verify the story.

Moderna's mRNA COVID-19 vaccine has received funding from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). CEPI is a part of the World Health Organization's COVAX facility, which aims to ensure fair distribution of vaccines against the coronavirus among countries.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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Moderna and Tata Sons had not yet responded when contacted by The Economic Times.

"The requirement for vaccines in India will be huge and the Tata Group has a strong brand equity in the country to gain people's trust and confidence by following approved guidelines for vaccines," a source told the publication.

India has begun its immunisation programme against COVID-19 with two vaccines - Covishield and Covaxin. The government plans to inoculate 300 million (30 crore) people by August 2021.

Also read: Status check on COVID-19 vaccines in pipeline for India over next six months

Covishield, manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), is the vaccine developed by British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Covaxin has been developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Foreign companies are required to conduct bridge trials on Indian volunteers, even if they have been approved outside.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 25, 2021 10:15 am

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