‘India has a voice in the distribution of the Covid vaccine’ | India News

NEW DELHI: India’s Covid diplomacy has gone beyond HCQ and acetaminophen to ensure the country can take advantage of its position as the world’s largest vaccine maker to be part of the search and distribution of the Covid vaccine.
After talks with its counterparts in key countries, the government has focused on the Indo-Pacific group to cooperate in the search for a vaccine. Key actors have been Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla, as well as the Prime Minister’s chief scientific adviser, Dr. K Vijayaraghavan, and the government’s biotechnology department.
Speaking to TOI in an exclusive chat, Vijayaraghavan said: “India will have a voice, even if there is no” Indian “vaccine, in terms of distribution, because India’s role in providing vaccines to others will be very important.”
Shringla has continued a sustained and regular conversation with her American counterpart Steve Biegun, as well as with officials from Japan, Australia and South Korea, while Jaishankar has added political weight to the talks with the United States, Israel, the Quad countries, Brazil and South Korea. Officials said India would work with “like-minded countries” not only in vaccine development, but also in production and distribution.
Vijayaraghavan says: “Worldwide, there are more than 125 vaccine development programs today. … of these, 10 are in the first stage, eight in phase two (limited animal and human trials) and two in phase 3 (larger-scale human trials). We will know the results of the phase 3 trials in a few months. ”
In addition to the Oxford University program, where India has a large presence and is currently the most advanced, entering phase 3, “There is a program in the United States called Warp Speed ​​that combines phases 1 and 2. Vaccines in these programs include those from Johnson & Johnson and Merck and others. A Chinese woman is also entering Phase 3. There is an Australian one, also entering Phase 3, by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia. That is not really a Covid 19 vaccine, but it is a new type of BCG vaccine, “said Vijayaraghavan.
Interestingly, while India has a presence in most international vaccine development programs, it does not have a presence in both Chinese vaccine programs.
Vijayaraghavan observes, “The size and extraordinary capacity of India’s bulk vaccine manufacturing effort is enormous and highly appreciated. In addition to the big multinationals, Brazil, Indonesia, China and India have enormous capacities. India has the largest. Therefore, India will not be ignored no matter who makes the vaccine. ”