Coronavirus vaccine in India update, COVID19 vaccine news: Pinning hope on the experimental Coronavirus vaccine of Oxford-AstraZeneca, Kang said this potential COVID19 vaccine might be the first one to have data that would encourage authorities to use it
Coronavirus vaccine in India update, COVID19 vaccine news: COVID vaccine, when developed, is not going to be available for all people in India quickly, warns one of India’s leading medical scientists. Gagandeep Kang, who is former Chair of an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) panel on COVID drugs and vaccines, said that considering the size of India’s population, the central government needs to come up with a “clearly communicated strategy”. Kang said that the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 is chalking strategy over the mass vaccination process, who will be vaccinated, and when.
Pinning hope on the experimental Coronavirus vaccine of Oxford-AstraZeneca, Kang said this potential COVID19 vaccine might be the first one to have data that would encourage authorities to use it. Kang said that if a vaccine is licensed in a separate country, it is monitored whether that country has a stringent regulatory authority or not. If that country has that kind of set up then the vaccine needs a very small trial in India to obtain a license. These “bridging studies” can be conducted on less than 100 participants. If the immunogenicity data matches in both the country then the vaccine can be granted a license. However, if the vaccine does not have a license from any other country then it needs to undergo large scale trials, Kang said. In the case of Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Coronavirus vaccine ChAdOx1, it is already in Phase 3 human trials. It is likely that by the time studies concluded in India, there will be efficacy data which along with results from Serum’s ongoing trials can be submitted in India for obtaining a license.
Talking about the issues of logistics of supply and accessibility to the Coronavirus vaccine, Kang said that it is nothing but a “complicated piece of the puzzle”. Kang said that even if a successful Coronavirus vaccine is developed, it won’t be available at “friendly neighborhood doctor tomorrow”. The process of regulation is a lengthy one. A vaccine can only be licensed after efficacy data are obtained. A country has to buy vaccines, land them, distribute them, and train staff on how to inject them on humans.
Earlier on August 12, the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 met for the first time. The expert group deliberated on conceptualization and implementation mechanisms for the creation of a digital infrastructure for inventory management and delivery mechanism of the vaccine including tracking of vaccination process with particular focus on last-mile delivery. The meeting was chaired by Dr V K Paul, Member Niti Aayog along with Secretary (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) as co-Chair.