Science

Around 40 Covid-19 vaccines are in human trials stage: Professor Gagandeep Kang

T V Jayan New Delhi | Updated on October 24, 2020 Published on October 24, 2020

Around 40 Covid-19 vaccine candidates have reached the human trials stage globally and a dozen among them have completed phase 1 and 2 of human clinical trials that looked into their safety and immunogenicity, said Dr Gagandeep Kang, professor of microbiology at the Christian Medical College, on Saturday.

“It is likely that we get results from probably three vaccines by end of this year and if we have good news--that these vaccines work, then there will be a huge effort to make a lot of vaccines so that they can be distributed around the world,” Dr Kang said while inaugurating the annual meeting of well-known people’s science movement, Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad.

The CMC professor, the first Indian woman scientist to be elected as the Fellow of the Royal Society, said: “We never had a time before where so much work has been done so fast on so many vaccine candidates as last nine months.”

This is not only remarkable but also moving the vaccine research field really forward very fast, Dr Kang, who was responsible for developing India’s first indigenous rotavirus vaccine said. As part of this effort to develop a vaccine against SARS-CoV2, every possible vaccine platform technologies are being used. Using these platform technologies, researchers and vaccine companies have undertaking as many as 300 vaccine development projects, she said.

Dr Kang also said in the haste to develop an effective coronavirus vaccine, there is a lot of pressure is being put on researchers and vaccine firms to make it quickly. “Fortunately for us, researchers and regulators have resisted that pressure and said that we will only provide vaccines only when we are confident that these vaccines are safe, of high quality and they work. This is very important for building trust in vaccines,” Dr Kang said.

India has an outstanding vaccine industry, consisting mainly of private players who despite the fact that they are privately owned, have been responsible for providing unimaginable service to public health in India and beyond. Because they make high quality but affordable vaccines, India’s vaccine manufacturers now provide something like 60 per cent of the vaccines that are used in routing childhood immunisation in low and middle income countries, she said.

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Published on October 24, 2020
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