Hyderabad: India would need at least 3 billion vaccine doses taking into account the 1.3 billion population and two doses of the vaccine and 15 per cent going as wastage. However, going by the pace of development many were questioning the efficacy and reliability of the vaccine. The big question in people’s mind is the reliability, durability, cost and effectiveness of the vaccines being developed by four to five companies globally, said Shantha Biotechnics founder Varaprasada Reddy.
“Rushing into developing a vaccine in one year’s time will cause more calamities to humans than the virus itself. Any vaccine development must pass thorough checks from the regulatory authority during different phases of clinical trials and also the data needs to be published in scientific journals for others to review and give their opinion. No such thing is happening in Covid-19 vaccine development, which will lead to safety becoming the first casualty in this emergency situation,” he said. Historically, the shortest time taken to develop a vaccine has been four years with Swine Flu vaccine taking 22 years, Ebola vaccine 5.5 years, TB vaccine 13 years and Chicken pox vaccine 22 years.
Speaking at the second day of TiE Global Summit held virtually, Reddy said that animal trials normally take six months but in this vaccine trial it has been done only for one month which can raise apprehensions on the efficacy and longevity of the vaccine. “Any kind of urgency to develop a vaccine is a disservice to public,” he added.
He also raised the issue of the equitable distribution and dispensation of the vaccine when ready. He pointed out that if there is no blueprint in place for the distribution of the vaccine, it will lead to hoarding and black marketing which is not something India needs at the moment.
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