India is the place you want to be right now to hold that flag up high in such dire times. The race to get the first vaccine out is very close as Bharat Biotech India (BBIL), in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology (NIV), tells us that the vaccine for Covid-19 could very be available near the end of the year .
In an Interview with India Today, Dr Krishna Ella reveals that phase One/Two of tests for the Covaxin have been approved by the The Central Drug’s Standard Control Organization across 10 centres, starting this month. So far, tests have been done on animals but they say they are cautious to not rush through any procedures at this time.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
• Step one
The story so far, is that NIV isolated a strain of virus from an asymptomatic patient with Covid-19 and transferred it to BBIL in early May where an inactive vaccine was then produced in Hyderabad.
• Step two
Usually a vaccine takes 12-15 years from manufacture to approval so one can only imagine the speed at which the company is working at to get to the finish line. Dr Krishna, from Biotech, a company that is 22 years old, hopes that once he gets full approval then the idea is to make available, at least 100/200 million vaccines. However, the speed of the process is very dependant on the amount of Covid-19 negative human volunteers they get who they can then inject with the inactive vaccine. There is a 14 day wait period, during which time, the body will produce an immune response. A sample of this blood will then be extracted, combined with the virus in a lab to see if the virus stops growing. Of course the hope is that it will, which means we have something that can stop the virus in its tracks.By the time phase One and Twoare complete, it could be another 4 months then another 2 to get the appropriate approval for production and distribution.
How safe the vaccine is, is really not known but what we can see is that definite progress has been made in the right direction. It is very obvious that many countries are involved in the same thing but India is at the forefront, maybe due to the population size and the desperate measures to control a situation that could get out of hand. Moreover, it is also clear that a vaccine form an enemy state like China, is definitely off the cards so really it relies on the country to make that Swadeshi formula and to get it right. This looks like India’s next step to thwart China where relations are still strained between the two countries after China moved into Indian territory in ladakh not long ago. What India does next in ‘ political phase three,’ looks quite exciting where we seem to be using all areas of retaliation which are not just about ground warfare, but bio-warfare too.
What’s really interesting to see is, when your back is up against a wall, how much you can actually achieve so I guess it’s watch this space for the next episode of ‘Chak De! India’