Immunisation and efficacy: The saga of Covaxin

Covaxin is a class of time tested vaccines that has a good track record of generating long-lasting immunity for many different virus-caused diseases, such as flu, polio, and yellow fever | Image - iStock

Frightened by the heart-wrenching scenes of overwhelmed hospitals, medical oxygen scarcity and makeshift crematoriums resulting from the second wave’s uncontrolled rage, the day CoWIN portal was opened for 18-44 years age cohort to enrol for vaccination, 133 million citizens enthusiastically registered. Alas, the day the vaccination drive was to commence, stocks went empty at most vaccine centres.

Currently, the Serum Institute of India (SII) produces around 60 million doses a month, and is expected to raise capacity up to 100 million from July. Bharat Biotech is making 10 million doses a month which they hope will be ramped up to 100 million per month by September.

One lakh (0.1 million) doses of SputnikV, the vaccine from Russia, have arrived. India will become a production hub for SputnikV, and initially, about 50 million doses per month are expected to be produced.

Not all of these would be available for Indian use, as these firms have commitments abroad. Further, India cannot resist the export of vaccines as it needs vaccine ingredients from other countries. As the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, India has a moral commitment to provide to the world.

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