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Results of Covid vaccines ‘promising’, India will play key role in their production — ICMR

In an editorial, the ICMR focused on the importance of research & development, but said that it was still unclear when the pandemic is likely to end.

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New Delhi: The recent results of the various Covid-19 vaccines are “promising” and a vaccine could be “well on its way”, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has said.

In the editorial of its internal newsletter e-Samvaad, the country’s apex medical body focused on the importance of research and development, and also discussed the race to develop effective vaccines against Covid-19.

“A number of countries have seen flattening of curves at various points during the last nine months of the pandemic prevalence. However, recently we have seen second wave strikes in some of these countries…It is clear that we need to fast track development of potential vaccines against COVID-19,” the October edition of the newsletter, published last week, said.

“Thankfully, there has been promising results on these fronts, and we are hopeful that a vaccine could be well on its way,” it added.

Recently, US pharmaceutical firms Pfizer and Moderna announced that their vaccines showed an efficacy of more than 90 per cent against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The ICMR editorial noted that several countries, including India, are using various interventions for Covid-19, but there are still no clear indications as to when the pandemic is likely to end.

Also read: 4,501 containment zones but little is contained — story of Delhi’s faltering Covid fight

‘India to play major role in production and distribution of vaccine’ 

The article, titled ‘Collaboration and Innovation alone will help defeat COVID-19 pandemic’, noted that the trials of indigenous vaccine candidates are also at an advanced stage of development.

It highlighted that the ICMR-backed Bharat Biotech Limited vaccine candidate Covaxin has entered the third phase of clinical trials.

Furthermore, Zydus Cadila’s “ZyCoV-D” and “ChADOx1” vaccine, jointly developed by Serum Institute of India and University of Oxford, has also shown promise. The results of the Phase 2 clinical trials of the vaccine developed showed that it was safe and generated an immune response.

“Not only in India, but globally 44 vaccine candidates are in different phases of clinical trials,” it said.

ICMR also highlighted that India is expected to play an important role in vaccine production and distribution. “No matter when and where a vaccine is developed, India is bound to play a pivotal role in its production and distribution across the world.”

Also read: WHO advises against use of remdesivir to treat hospitalised Covid patients

‘Global collaboration will be key’

According to the editorial, “Global collaboration and innovation is going to be the cornerstone of a strategy that can potentially end this pandemic.”

It added that in the last nine months of this pandemic, it has become clear that global co-operation and innovation alone will enable countries to come out of this situation.

“Partnerships and collaboration — such as the Grand Challenges India, World Health Organization’s solidarity therapeutics trials — are playing a crucial role in accelerating research, developing new tools, and driving continued progress in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The article also credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent emphasis on how the future will be shaped by societies that invest in science and innovation.

“We need to forge long-term partnerships and increase R&D investments as that will determine the scientific tools at our disposal to defeat this pandemic,” the ICMR editorial said.

Also read: Covid patients shed viral RNA for upto 83 days but are infectious for about 9 — Lancet report


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