Paediatric trials of Covaxin are likely to start from June 1

The talk on the most topical topic, “All About Vaccines” was well attended by over 160 members


Few side effects of vaccination are common and that shouldn’t deter anyone from taking it, said Dr Raches Ella, Head-Business Development & International Advocacy of Bharat Biotech during a virtual conversation with members of FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO) Hyderabad on “All About Vaccines”.

Welcoming the gathering, Uma Chigurupati, Chairperson of FLO Hyderabad described the C-19 as a global health crisis. She said that India is the worst hit and we surpassed Brazil. And many of us have many concerns and vaccines seem to be the only hope. Let’s find answers to our doubts and dilemmas.

The talk on the most topical topic, “All About Vaccines” was well attended by over 160 members. It was a very informative and enlightening session and participants heard the speaker with the utmost attention.

Interacting with Dr Pragnya Chigurupati, Consultant–Breast Oncology & Oncoplastic Surgeon who moderated the talk, Dr Raches said if you inject the purest form of water into anybody it is likely to generate few reactions.

Picture: Pixabay

It is the biological nature of the body. If it doesn’t then there is a problem with your body. Whenever any foreign body enters our body a good body should react. Same is the case with vaccines.

That is why we have side effects.  He dispelled various myths about vaccine hesitancy. And he said C-19 vaccines are safe and everyone should take vaccines.

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Bharat Biotech has received permission to carry out pediatric trials of the vaccine and it may commence trials from June 1. It will be a trial on children aged 2-18 years, he said.  Kids vaccine trials of Bharat Biotech may get the license in the third quarter of this year he gave his confidence.

“We will be soon ramping up our manufacturing capacity to 700 million doses by the end of this year,” informed Dr Raches as a response to a question from a participant.

“We are happy to have the full support of the government because of which we are able to stand where we are today in this journey. The vaccine is co-developed by us and ICMR. The Government placed an advanced purchase order of Rs 1500 crore. This will help us to increase our risk appetite. That is why we are expanding to Bangalore and Gujarat,” informed Dr Raches.

Dr Raches also said that the success probability of a vaccine is just six per cent from discovery to development. That is why we see fewer vaccines.

In normal circumstances, the development of a vaccine takes anywhere between 7 to 10 years, which we have done in the least possible time. This was never taught in books. This is something I learned practically. The journey was challenging, promising, and fulfilling, Dr Raches explained.

When asked about dosing intervals he said ideally the gap should be between two weeks and can go up to six weeks. If for some reason you miss that schedule you need not get panicked. You can go and take the second dose anytime possible but at the earliest possible time.

Three months after the second dose good antibody response can be developed. Talking about a booster dosage, he said the current vaccines are doing good enough but that will depend on future variants of the virus if any booster doses need to be taken or not.

No vaccines offer 100 per cent protection. The vaccine efficacy can be improved up to 100% protection by your C-19 Appropriate Behaviour and following other safety protocols he said.

Speaking on distribution, he said right now we are allowed to sell vaccines to the Union Government, the state governments, and private hospitals in the ratio of 70:20 and 10.  If any corporates plan to inoculate their staff, they may collaborate with private hospitals, explained Dr Raches.

About WHO approval he said, “We have initiated the process and may get its approval soon. A few of our products in the past got their approval. We expect approval for Covaxin by the end of Q3 or Q4.”

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