PMO confirms big reason why Coronavirus vaccine in India may not be delayed

By: |
October 18, 2020 1:06 PM

As per the statement, the country's top clinical body- ICMR and Department of Biotechnology have conducted two studies on Genome of SARSCoV-2 regarding the mutation of virus.

China's Sinovac vaccine was being tested by Brazil's research centre Butantan Institute and still needs to be approved by the health regulator to be used in the population.

Coronavirus vaccines are under trial in India and other countries as well. However, some recent global studies regarding mutations in the virus have raised concerns over its impact on the effectiveness of vaccines. However, in a recent announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Centre said there is no major mutation in viral strain in India, implying that the vaccine development and its efficiency will not be impacted.

As per the statement, the country’s top clinical body- ICMR and Department of Biotechnology have conducted two studies on Genome of SARSCoV-2 regarding the mutation of virus.

“Two pan-India studies suggest that the virus is genetically stable and there is no major mutation in the virus,” PMO said. It is to note that when a virus replicates, there may be some changes in the new strains that have formed. This is known as mutation. Therefore, any vaccine developed for it will have to keep a tap on the possibility of mutation.

The statement came after a review meeting was chaired by PM Narendra Modi regarding the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic, vaccine delivery, and its distribution and administration preparedness. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan had also made a statement regarding the same saying that there have not been any significant or drastic mutations in the Coronavirus strains in India so far. According to him, ICMR has been working on conducting a large-scale sequencing of strains that have been identified in India over the last few months. The council will be ready soon with detailed results on viral mutations. The Health Minister also emphasized that small changes will not be able to impact the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office also noted that three vaccines in India have reached the advanced stages of development. Out of these, two are already in the second phase of human clinical trials and the third one is in the third phase. Further, the PMO said that PM Modi has stressed that “every step in the logistics, delivery, and administration should be put in place rigorously. It must include advanced planning of cold storage chains, distribution network, monitoring mechanism, advance assessment, and preparation of ancillary equipment required, such as vails, syringes.”

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