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Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020 13:30 [IST]

Last Update: Wednesday, Sep 16, 2020 07:47 [IST]

Waiting for an elixir

As Covid cases rise with increasing economic activity, the only solution to contain this sneaky virus would be an effective vaccine.
But the road to developing a vaccine for mass use is still full of road blocks and uncertainty.
Coronavirus vaccine won’t be available to everyone before 2024 end. The Serum Institute of India has said adequate coronavirus vaccine will not be available for everybody in the world to be immunised until the end of 2024. The chief executive of the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines, Adar Poonawalla, has dampened the hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine by year-end in an interview with a national newspaper. He said that pharma firms were not ramping up production capacity swiftly to be able to innoculate the world population in less duration.
The Serum Institute has partnered with five international pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca and Novavax, to develop a coronavirus vaccine. The firm may also tie-up with Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute to produce the Sputnik vaccine. The institute has pledged to manufacture one billion doses, out of which it has promised 50% to India.
The only way forward for India will be to formulate a sensible acquisition and pricing policy for a coronavirus vaccine, when it becomes available. The goal is simple: a policy that ensures the fastest delivery of a vaccine for the largest number of people. The only way to achieve it is to rely on and work with the private sector to acquire and allocate the vaccine across India, and shun price and quantity controls. The country needs dual acquisition and pricing strategies. First, vaccines for the poor should be paid for by the government at cost; and second, a free market for the vaccine should operate for those who can afford it. The private testing market was crippled by slow approvals and court-mandated pricing. This must not happen with a vaccine.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi