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Opinion

Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine May Be Available in First Half of Next Year – Official

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Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine may be available in the country from the first half of next year, AstraZeneca Country President Gagandeep Singh said on Saturday.

Speaking at the 93rd annual FICCI chamber of industry convention, he said that in the current pandemic, the vaccine must be widely, equitably and timely available.

Pune-based Serum Institute of India is conducting clinical trials of Covishield, a Covid-19 vaccine candidate from the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca in India.

“We started working with Oxford University in April and we are currently waiting for the emergency use authorization to be approved and that can potentially mean that we could have something available as early as the first half of 2021,” Singh said.

In order to make the vaccine available over time, the entity has signed about 3 billion dose delivery agreements worldwide, covering about 160 countries, he noted.

“On top of that, due to the viral vector platform that is used to produce our vaccine, it can be manufactured on a relatively large scale and we are fortunate to partner with Serum, which has one of the largest manufacturing capabilities,” he said. Singh.

More importantly, this vaccine can be stored, transported and handled in comfortable refrigerated conditions (2 to 8 degrees), which is very convenient to handle, which means that it can be administered very quickly throughout the country, he added.

“That is what we hope to do when we get approval from the Indian authorities,” he added.

Pfizer, Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute have currently requested the DCGI for the emergency authorization of their vaccines in the country.

Speaking at the event, Cadila Healthcare President Pankaj R Patel said phase two testing of the company’s vaccine has begun and the results have been encouraging.

He said the vaccine is stable and may not require very cold temperatures. Patel also said the company would like to complete phase three testing before applying for emergency clearance. He noted that the company’s vaccine has been developed on a DNA platform, so if the virus mutates, it should be able to come out with a new vaccine in a very short period of time.

Bharat Biotech CMD Krishna She said that it has been crucial for companies to protect volunteers.

He further said that the trials are completely transparent and all data is attached. She noted that the company is conducting the first type of efficacy trial of its vaccine in the developing world.

“We have a long experience in vaccines. Covaxin can be given to a 6-month-old baby and a 65-year-old. The safety profile of the vaccine will be extremely good and we have applied for an emergency clearance and we let the government review all of those things. We give them the data they want. We have done everything in accordance with international standards ”.

Speaking earlier at the same event, NITI Aayog member VK Paul said there will be no pressure on the drug regulator over the approval of the Covid-19 vaccine and that the final call to allow its approval for emergency use will be made. on scientific principles.

He also urged the FICCI to work with state governments to increase spending on health, improve human resources in health, optimizing training in the private sector.

He also called on the industry body to work to develop mental health capacities in the country and called for greater involvement of the private sector in improving health infrastructure.

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