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Ukraine in talks with Serum Institute of India on COVID-19 vaccine supply: Report

"Negotiations are underway with an Indian manufacturer, Serum Institute, which can produce the American Novovax vaccine and has the ability to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine at the moment," Interfax quoted Ihor Ivashchenko as saying.

January 20, 2021 / 08:04 PM IST
Representative image: Reuters

Representative image: Reuters

Ukraine is in talks with Indian medical firm Serum Institute on supplying COVID-19 vaccines, Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted a deputy Ukrainian health minister as saying on Wednesday.

"Negotiations are underway with an Indian manufacturer, Serum Institute, which can produce the American Novovax vaccine and has the ability to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine at the moment," Interfax quoted Ihor Ivashchenko as saying.

He gave no further details.

India will initially only ship the AstraZeneca vaccine, made by The Serum Institute, the world's biggest vaccine maker, which brands the shot as COVISHIELD.

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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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Ukraine, which registered more that 1.17 million coronavirus cases and 21,258 deaths, has already agreed to buy some vaccines from China and also expects to secure some under the global COVAX programme for poorer countries.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
Reuters
first published: Jan 20, 2021 07:45 pm

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