India may get a Covid-19 vaccine as early as March since several manufacturers are working on it, according to Dr Suresh Jadhav, executive director of Serum Institute of India. The institute is working with Oxford University and AstraZeneca to develop a Covid-19 vaccine in India. Dr Jadhav told The Indian Express that provided regulators approve the vaccine candidates, India is moving fast towards having a vaccine for Covid-19. He said two manufacturers are already in phase-III trial and one in phase-II trial and more are joining, all indicating positive developments in the global race for a vaccine.
Recently, while attending an online WHO question-and-answer session, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization, reiterated that the WHO’s stance against allowing the virus to spread unchecked to reach herd immunity, emphasizing that the concept should be discussed only within the context of a vaccine. Adding further, she said, “Once we have a vaccine, we can aim to have population immunity - herd immunity - because you’ll need to vaccinate at least 70 per cent of people, have them protected, to really break the transmission. ”Elaborating on the status of the vaccine development during HEAL-Thy Samvaad, Mr Samir Deb, pharmaceutical professional, consultant vaccine & public affairs consultant, South East Asia, said, “Vaccine development is a burning issue across the world now. Hopefully, 20-25 crore population will get a vaccine next year. Ensuring accessibility for 80 per cent of the population is a huge task indeed.”