India has edge in COVID-19 vaccines, global study says

India has three potential coronavirus candidates in race with global contendors rushing to clear trials. A new global analysis of advance market commitments (AMCs) for experimental vaccines observed that India has an edge in the global vaccine race. The report, as quoted by the Hindustan Times, said that India has used its manufacturing capability to pre-order 600 million doses of the vaccine and is negotiating for another billion doses, which is enough to vaccinate at least half the population. India is only second to the US, which has pre-ordered 810 million and another 1.6 billion doses under negotiation. 

An analysis noted that manufacturing enough vaccines to cover the world’s population will take three to four years. High-income countries and a few middle-income countries with manufacturing capacity such as India have already purchased nearly 3.8 billion doses, with options for another five billion, the analysis of purchasing agreements for COVID-19 vaccines by the US-based Duke Global Health Innovation Center showed.

“In terms of numbers of confirmed doses, the USA has pre-ordered the largest number (810 million confirmed, another 1.6 billion doses under negotiation), followed by India (600 million doses confirmed, with another 1 billion doses under negotiation), and the EU (400 million doses confirmed, another 1.565 billion doses under negotiation). But in terms of percent of population covered by confirmed purchases, Canada has pre-purchased enough vaccine to cover 527% of their population, followed by the UK at 277% of their population,” said Andrea D Taylor, assistant director of programmes at the Duke Global Health Innovation Center, who led the analysis. “Of course, it is important to remember that most likely only some of the vaccine purchases will come through, depending on regulatory approval,” Taylor further told HT.

At least three potential vaccines are under trials in India. These include Bharat Biotech and ICMR’s Covaxin, Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D and Oxford-AstraZeneca in partnership with Serum Institute. 

Taylor hoped that at least one two vaccines will be approved and start to ship by March 2021. She said some manufacturers, including the Serum Institute of India (SII), are manufacturing and stockpiling doses of leading vaccine candidates so as to have a jump start if the candidates are approved.

Editor JK News Updates

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