Reviews | India’s vaccine ecosystem and its role as a net provider of global health security
On January 16, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the world’s largest adult vaccination campaign across India.
Kicking off the country’s vaccination campaign in the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Prime Minister Modi said: âA vaccination campaign on such a scale has never been carried out before in history. ”
The Prime Minister’s remarks show the scale of this mass vaccination campaign, the largest in Indian history, with more than 200,000 people vaccinated across the country in 3,350 sessions on the very first day.
India has launched two indigenous COVID-19 vaccines, marking its entry into the exclusive V5 club, the five coronavirus vaccine-producing countries which also include the US, UK, Russia and China.
Atmanirbhar Bharat – Indigenous development of COVID-19 vaccine
During the pandemic, Indian government institutions and regulatory authorities worked with the private sector to strengthen the ecosystem to support the development of vaccine candidates and create an enabling regulatory framework.
Apart from this, the Indian government has launched the COVID Suraksha (COVID Security) Mission, which has deployed $ 123 million to accelerate the development of candidate vaccines. It has also ensured that these are brought closer to licensure and brought to the market through the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC), an industry-university interface.
The government’s initiatives have borne fruit as 30 academic and industry groups are actively involved in the development, collaboration, co-development and testing of COVID-19 vaccines in India.
Six candidate vaccines, including three locally developed, are in the clinical stage of development. Three candidate vaccines are in advanced preclinical development, while several others are in pre-onset development.
Two vaccines received emergency use authorization on January 2, 2021, and one of them (AstraZeneca-Oxford-Serum Institute) is currently being distributed as part of the world’s largest vaccination campaign in India. .
R&D and vaccine manufacturing ecosystem
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted India’s position as a reliable stakeholder in global healthcare supply chains with significant strengths in research and development (R&D), innovation and manufacturing. Less than a year after the confirmation of the first reported case of coronavirus in India, the milestone for successful vaccine development has been reached. This remarkable achievement has showcased India’s strong vaccine research and development ecosystem.
India, widely recognized as the world’s pharmacy, is one of the largest vaccine producers, with 60% of global vaccine production coming from India. Indian producers supply 1.5 billion doses per year to more than 150 countries.
India is the world’s largest supplier of DTP, BCG and measles vaccines. The World Health Organization (WHO) sources 70% of its essential vaccines for immunization from India.
India’s dynamic 5S vision of foreign policy includes Sammaan (Respect), Samvaad (Dialogue), Sahyog (Cooperation), Shanti (Peace) and Samriddhi (Global Prosperity). In accordance with Sahyog (cooperation) and Samriddhi (Global prosperity), India has delivered HCQs, paracetamols and other medical devices to more than 100 countries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On January 20, India began delivering COVID-19 vaccines to neighboring countries, with the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan receiving the first shipment of 150,000 Covishield vaccines.
The Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Mauritius and Seychelles have also received COVID-19 vaccine from India, as part of the Maitri Vaccine Initiative. In the neighborhood, Sri Lanka is awaiting the vaccine this week, and Afghanistan is awaiting the necessary regulatory approvals.
Indian Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar said the Vaccine Maitri initiative is another example of the country’s ‘neighborhood first policy’, and India will meet the challenge of COVID-19 . Outside the neighborhood, Indian vaccine has been supplied to Morocco and Brazil, and delivery to other countries will follow.
The region’s preference for Indian vaccines is based on lower cost, easier storage requirements, and geographic proximity. India, the largest producer of vaccines for middle- and low-income countries, is the world’s assurance against the threats posed by “vaccine nationalism.”
In a world threatened by the sad reality of epidemics become more frequent, international cooperation in the field of health becomes vital. India, the world’s pharmacy, will play a leading role in collaboration and cooperation with like-minded countries to effectively link the global healthcare supply chain.
With its commitment to serving the interests of all mankind, India can transform itself into a net provider of global health security.
Rahul Kulshreshth, Ambassador of India in Cairo