It is a big decision that will benefit India in our fight against the deadly corona virus, whose resurgence has revived the painful memories of last year’s immigration crisis and raised fears of another oc sucking lockdown. On Tuesday, the government rapidly tracked all Kovid vaccines received for emergency use from trusted foreign regulators such as the US, UK, EU and Japan, and the World Health Organization’s Emergency Disease-Use List. These vaccines are not required to pass tests abroad through local clinical trials for efficacy and safety, but post-approval ‘bridging trials’ designed to assess their impact on Indians are required. In addition, the first 100 beneficiaries of each fast track entrant will be monitored for a week to extensively evaluate security results before implementation. This attitude, taken a day after the Indian came forward to Russia’s Sputnik-V Jab, serves to expand our arsenal against Kovid infections. So far, we have relied on the Serum Institute of India (SII’s) Kovshield and Bharat Biotech’s indigenous Kovacin for our vaccine drive. This effort can now be joined by Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine (like SII, which is looking for the risk of blood clots) and some mRNA jobs that represent the latest technology: Modernna and Bioentech-Pfizers.
Although Tuesday’s decision sent waves of relief, there will be no pressure punch prior to the Rigard action. Sure, we should not wait for the number of our daily infections to exceed the maximum level it touched in the first wave of last year to open the Sluice gates. Since it takes time for new diseases to arrive, we should now have a deceptively only content. The second wave signals were clearly visible several weeks ago. Experts warned of a high epidemic at this point. It was also pointed out that our progress on the vaccine has been very slow. Today, despite the terrible increase in the number of deaths in the country, many people are still infected with this virus. The speed of the infection indicates worse to come. With the pandemic raging in other parts of the world, it is easy to cope with the global vaccine shortage. But, sadly, we seem to have made two errors of judgment, the second flowing from the first. One, without defensive diseases, we were so relieved to see the wave decline last year, the country fell into a false sense of security. The complex got better for us. Second, we have taken our position as a ‘global vaccine manufacturer’ very seriously for our own good. We saw this as an endorsement of our productive power, perhaps even our new commitment to self-sufficiency, and failed to pull all the forces together to produce the vaccine on a large scale. Take the case of a private company called SII. It lacked state support, could not rely on revenues from the vaccine market to supply cheap to the center, its export routes were blocked and there was a shortage of funds for capacity expansion. It provides a complete study in contrast to Western countries where public money was used to help vaccine manufacturers.
The sclerotic policy seen in India is partly due to our bureaucracy, which has a poor record of working smoothly with private partners. Blame it with the old suspicion of profit, which has long pushed India back. However, our political leadership is pushing our governance systems away from inertia. No time yet to lose. Now let all the syringes light up to get this pandemic out.