Recently, the Russian Federation announced the first COVID-19 vaccine in the world. Although the vaccine has been approved without the final phase of human trials, it is the only light at the end of the tunnel as of now. But Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine will take long to reach India and the rest of the world.
AVAILABILITY OF THE VACCINE OUTSIDE RUSSIA
With Russia becoming the first country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for large-scale public use, discussions about the availability and production of the Russian vaccine for people of other countries have begun. For regions outside Russia, it might still be some time before the Russian vaccine is available. As per a Thomas Reuters report, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund disclosed that other countries have requested for 1 billion doses of the vaccine and that there would be annual production of 30 million doses as per international agreements. It did not name the countries which have shown interest in the Russian vaccine.
RUSSIA’S COVID-19 VACCINE WILL TAKE LONG TO REACH INDIA
Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine will take long to reach India since India can avail it in only one way. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) needs to urge the Russian Federation to conduct late-phase human trial phase-2 and in addition, phase-3, on a sect of the Indian population. This is the usual requirement for all vaccines developed outside of India.
The late-phase human trials are important because the vaccine’s efficacy can differ in different population groups.
The Oxford University has taken this very route. Furthermore, the Oxford vaccine trials are expected to begin this week.
RUSSIA’S VACCINE UNDER GREAT SCEPTICISM
Concerns related to the efficacy of the vaccine remain unaddressed as the Russian government has cleared the path for public use of the vaccine without conducting phase 3 clinical trials, according to an Indian Express report. The Moscow-based Gamaleya Institute which has developed the vaccine, began its human trials only two months back. The other vaccine candidates including Oxford-AstraZeneca and USA’s Moderna had begun their human trials before the Russian vaccine. But approval of their vaccines for public-use is less likely to occur before early next year.
Read here | Russia announces the world’s first COVID vaccine