Hyderabad: Bharat Biotech may begin testing of its covid-19 vaccine covaxin from June, a senior company official said. The vaccine manufacturer has already received permission to test on 2–18 years old children.
Dr. Racheys Ella, Head of Business Development and International Advocacy of Bharat Biotech, expressed confidence that the vaccine for children could be licensed in the third quarter of this year.
In a virtual chat with members of FICCI Ladies Organization (FlO) Hyderabad on “All About Vaccines”, he said that the company hopes to get approval for Covaxin from the World Health Organization (WHO) by the end of the third or fourth quarter .
Ella also said that Bharat Biotech will increase the production capacity of Covaxin to 70 million doses by the end of this year.
“We are delighted to have the full support of the government due to which we are able to stand where we are today in this journey. The vaccine is co-developed by us and the ICMR.
The government has given an enhanced purchase order of Rs 1,500 crore. We will be helped to increase our risk appetite. That is why we are expanding in Bangalore and Gujarat, “he said.
Answering a question from consultant, breast oncology and oncoplastic surgeon, Dr. Pragya Chigurupati, who conducted the talks, Ella said the probability of success of a vaccine ranged from discovery to development to just 6 percent.
“Under normal circumstances, the development of a vaccine takes anywhere between 7 and 10 years, which is what we have done in the shortest possible time.
It was never taught in books. This is something that I have learned practically. The journey was challenging, promising and satisfying. “
When asked about the dosage interval, he said that ideally the interval should be between two weeks and can go up to six weeks.
“If for some reason you miss that schedule, you don’t need to panic. You can go and take another dose anytime but at the earliest possible time.”
Three months after the second dose, a good antibody response can be developed. Talking about the booster dose, he said that the current vaccines are working quite well but that future forms of the virus will depend on whether a booster dose needs to be taken
no vaccine provides 100% protection, he said that the vaccine’s efficacy can be improved by up to 100 percent by following the appropriate behavior of Covid and other safety protocols.
Asked why people have corona even after taking the first dose, he replied that the first dose only gives partial effects. “This is because it takes time for your immune system to develop.
It is a biological process and the system requires some time. After the second dose the severity of the Covid effect will be very low,” he said.
On distribution, he said that he is currently allowed to sell vaccines in the ratio of 70:20:10 to the union government, state governments and private hospitals.
He said that if a corporate plans to vaccinate its employees, they can cooperate with private hospitals.
FLO Hyderabad chairperson Uma Chigurupati described covid-19 as a global health crisis.
She said that India is the worst affected and has left Brazil behind.