Tikadars To Vaccine Maitri : India's Vaccine Story - (E)

Is India going to be the new destination for global vaccine manufacturing? A New book `India’s Vaccine Growth Story: From Cowpox to Vaccine Maitri’ written by Dr Sajjan Singh Yadav (IAS) and a PhD in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and currently Additional Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance of the Government of India traces the history of vaccination in India and recounts the success story. The book was recently unveiled by Ms Nirmala Sitharaman, India’s Finance Minister. Did you know that vaccines save 3 million lives annually? This potent group of weapons has notably annihilated smallpox, pushed polio to the verge of elimination and is now taking on COVID-19 as the dreaded virus keeps changing forms to survive in its fierce battle with humankind. Indians practised inoculation centuries before the West discovered vaccines in 1796. India’s Vaccine Growth Story charts the journey of vaccines from the Jennerian era to the COVID-19 pandemic, covering multiple facets of vaccines from the Indian and global perspectives. Apart from discussing vaccine leadership, vaccine nationalism, vaccine hesitancy, eagerness and equity, as well as the latest diplomatic currency―the vaccine-Maitri, the book also tracks the decade-long vaccine development cycle that was drastically cut short to a few months, taking readers through India’s exciting and meticulously-planned sojourn of executing the world’s largest vaccination drive. India unleashed a plethora of instruments to make and use Covid-19 vaccines, does this now make India a hub for vaccine manufacture since the country already has the moniker of being the `pharmacy of the world. No one could have ever imagined that a country of 1.3 billion could roll out universal vaccination against Covid-19 so quickly and effectively. India has administered over two billion doses of the vaccine against Covid-19, an achievement of unparalleled proportions in India’s history. In addition, India has also delivered over 160 million doses of vaccines to nearly 100 countries across the world. The first case of the `novel coronavirus’ was reported from the country on January 30, 2020, and in less than a year, India had its first vaccination being given. Usually, it takes over a decade to develop and deploy a new vaccine. In addition, most vaccines are first created in more advanced countries, and it takes years for the new vaccines to find their way to India. Not only was the British-made Covishield vaccine ramped up in production the development of the Covaxin by Bharat Biotech Private Limited, Hyderabad, is a unique Indian success story.