As global vaccine race intensifies, India has a crucial responsibility

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 17, 2020, 09.53 PM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

Coronavirus vaccine Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Whosoever comes up first in this vaccine race, India will be asked for this assistance

Internationally, the race to find coronavirus vaccine is turning into a war. 

India, on the other hand is secure in its self-knowledge. Whosoever comes up first in this vaccine race, India will be asked for its mass production. 

Also read | Coronavirus vaccine wars: US accuses Russian hacker group APT29 of trying to steal data

One out of the three vaccines produced in the world is made in India. This has put India in a special position, but added great responsibility too. 

Also read | India's Cadila aims to complete trial of coronavirus vaccine by March

Around the world, there are over 140 vaccine candidates and only 11 so far have reached the stage of human trials. 

From India, two candidates have made it to the human trials: Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV-D. 

India may or may not win this race, but no vaccine would succeed without India. 

This is because discovering a vaccine is only half the battle won, the second, an equally important task is to manufacture them in great numbers. 

To make vaccine accessible to all countries, mass production would be required with affordable prices. 

And this responsibility rests on India's shoulders. 

Every year, India produces three billion doses of vaccine and the cost of production and clinical trials are the lowest in the world. 

For instance, the vaccine of rotavirus, a gastro-infection that particularly affects children is made 15 times cheaper by India. 

The world's largest vaccine manufacturer, Serum Institute of India, makes more than 1.5 billion doses every year and the vaccines are exported to 170 countries. 

The institute's role in eradication of polio must also be highlighted. 

If Oxford University's COVID-19 vaccine gets a green signal, the company says, in one year, it can produce 700-800 billion doses. 

And that too for 13 dollars, the cheapest in the world. 

Bill Gates says only India is the country that can produce the vaccine for the entire world. 

In April, even China admitted India's pharmaceutical prowess. 

Currently, at least six Indian pharmaceutical companies are working with global institutes, which means no just one, but multiple COVID-19 vaccines could be made in India. 

To sum it up, the Wuhan virus vaccine, developed anywhere in the world, it will be made in India.