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Trending: Call for Papers Volume 3 | Issue 2: International Journal of Advanced Legal Research [ISSN: 2582-7340]

Covid-19 Vaccine: Distribution in India

Introduction

 Covid-19 is a disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-related coronavirus. In the term ‘Covid’ CO stands for Corona, VI stands for Virus, and D stands for Disease. The symptoms of corona include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia or breathing problems. 

These symptoms are almost similar to the flu (influenza) or the common cold, which are a lot more common than COVID-19. This is the reason why the testing is required to confirm if someone has Covid-19.

Covid-19 Vaccine

The first dosage of Covid-19’s vaccine was tried on a 91-year-old female named Margaret Keenan living in the United Kingdom. This vaccine was developed by a company named Pfizer which a very world-renowned US-based pharmaceutical company.

Initially, numerous politicians and scientists stated that the effects caused due to the covid pandemic can only be curbed if an effective vaccine is developed and distributed worldwide. If the vaccine is not distributed timely and effectively then the entire world will face its adverse effects either it is economic or societal.

Developing a vaccine takes a lot of time as after the vaccine is developed it goes through clinical trials which are conducted through numerous phases.

The world economy has crashed and millions of human beings are dead. The entire world is shaken by the adverse impacts of the covid-19 virus and such situations are a very strong reason for the increasing demand for the covid-19 vaccine.
But to launch a vaccine in a country also involves a very lengthy and time-consuming procedure.

Questions on the Covid-19 Vaccine

  • The first question that arises when the topic “Covid-19 vaccine” is introduced is that – ‘Why is it taking so long to launch the covid-19 vaccine?’ 
  • The second question is to find out that ‘Which Indian Pharmaceutical companies are involved in bringing the covid-19 vaccine to India?” 
  • Lastly, and most important question is that after the vaccine is launched in India ‘Which set of citizens will get the first shot of the covid-19 vaccine in India?’

Why is it taking so long to launch the Covid-19 Vaccine?

The primary question is that why is it taking so long to launch the covid-19 vaccine, the answer to which is that the covid-19 vaccine requires the approval of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To get approval vaccine has to pass through numerous phases of clinical trials which is a very lengthy and time-consuming procedure.

For instance, Moderna Incorporation, which is a very renowned U.S. based pharmaceutical company. After this company develops the vaccine of covid-19 then the FDA will evaluate the vaccine with the help of clinical trials. If the vaccine is approved then it will give the authorization to the Moderna Incorporation to develop 500 million doses of the covid-19 vaccine by 2021.

Undoubtedly, it is a very lengthy and time-consuming process but a pharmaceutical company can file an application to the appropriate authority that in case of emergencies such as covid pandemic, Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) should be given without waiting for the approval of the FDA. Such an application is filed by Moderna Incorporation to the USA and European Union.

Which Indian Pharmaceutical companies are involved in bringing the covid-19 vaccine to India?

There are numerous world-renowned pharmaceutical companies such as Roche, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, etc. But seven Indian pharmaceutical companies have taken part in the development of the covid-19 vaccine. The companies are Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila, Indian Immunologicals Limited, Panacea Biotech, Mynvax, Serum Institute of India, and Biological E. Limited. Among these seven pharmaceutical companies, the Serum Institute of India is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and has supplied and sold more than 1.5 billion doses universally for various types of diseases. Out of these seven pharmaceutical companies, Bharat Biotech has received the approval to conduct Phase I and Phase II Clinical Trial of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate “COVAXIN”. Even Serum Institute of India has applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’.

Which set of citizens will get the first shot of the covid-19 vaccine in India?

The National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 (NEGVAC) Committee has set up the priority basis on which the vaccine has to be distributed. As per NEGVAC’s terms, the vaccine is to be first received by 1 crore health care workers, 2 crores frontline workers which also includes police officers & armed forces, 27 crores people above the age of 50 years, people below the age of 50 years.

The chairman of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 (NEGVAC) Committee, VK Paul proposed that the teachers should also be included in the priority groups.

Conclusion

Hence, the development and clinical trials for the covid-19 vaccine is moving forward at a great pace. Moreover, many international organizations are receiving the dosages of the covid-19 vaccine. Moreover, there are 172 countries and multiple candidate vaccines engaged in the covid-19 vaccine Global Access Facility. As per the latest rates per dosage of the covid-19 vaccine will cost approximately Rs.250- Rs.300 per person in India.
As per Moderna Incorporation, the companies making the covid-19 vaccine can have a premium price of $37 which can drop up to $25 if it is supplied to a country in huge amounts just like the USA.

References

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/key-messages-and-actions-for-covid-19-prevention-and-control-in-schools-march-2020.pdf?sfvrsn=baf81d52_4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPjwXjZUL4&t=2s&ab_channel=FinologyLegal
Image Source

Author: Sneha Mahawar, Ramaiah Institute of Legal Studies.

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