It was believed to have originated from a clandestine lab in Wuhan in the Peoples’ Republic of China (PRC). While the Chinese regime flatly denied any implicit role while simultaneously engaging in political and military banter, scientists from India raced to find a vaccine. Despite a huge population, India managed to damp offthe effects of the pandemic in addition to leading the research for a viable vaccine.
India’s vaccine research
Back in October 2020, India was among the few countries to start testing its Covid vaccines. Pinning hopes on Covaxin which has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), it entered the third phase of trial assuring an effective method to halt the scourge of the virus. Tested across the country and on numerous volunteers, the Covaxin proved to have almost negligible side-effects coupled with its capacity to stimulate the immune system. Compared to the Pfizer and Moderna versions of the vaccine, India began to look for a cheap and effective alternative for mass inoculations. Institutes such as the Serum Institute of India (SII), Bharat Biotech, Cadila Healthcare Ltd. and the Hetero Biopharma joined the race for an effective vaccine. The Covaxin depends on the use of Whole Virion Inactivated Vero Cell derived platform technology that focuses on inactivated vaccines. Furthermore, it does not require subzero temperature storage and can be preserved in a liquid form which is ready to use. The SII manufactured Covishield is another one to enter the race in India, which has been approved from Oxford- AstraZeneca. While the vaccination drive commenced from the 16th of January in what would be the world’s largest vaccination drive ever, India embarked on a long journey to defend its population from the deadly virus.
India’s vaccine diplomacy
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