Coronavirus | We are now seeing significant problems in recruitment in Phase-3 trials, says Gagandeep Kang

“We are also stockpiling Novavax and once these authorisations are through, can supply billions of doses.”

In a webinar, in New Delhi, on coronavirus vaccine, Gagandeep Kang, professor, CMC Vellore said “People still view participation in clinical trials as being guinea pigs and we have done nothing to address the trust issues relating to clinical research. We are now seeing significant problems in recruitment in Phase-3 trials because our communication strategies about clinical research tend to be very very limited.”

Dr. Gang said “Until we have a better understanding of vaccinated populations, we should continue wearing masks even after gutting vaccinated.”

Also read: Coronavirus | U.K. approves Oxford vaccine

Dr. Kang said “The pandemic has seen a dramatic change in academia, industry and funding agencies working together. It’s a fantastic start and we are seeing results but we have a long way to go.”

Umesh Shaligram, director, R&D, Serum Institute said “Serum Institute has a stockpile of 75 million doses of the Oxford vaccine and by 1st week of January will have 100 million doses. India is the only country that has such a stock pile.”

He said “Pfizer and Moderna, though they have emergency use authorisation, are having a tough time with supply and manufacturing.”

Also read: Coronavirus | Pfizer ends COVID-19 vaccine trial with 95% efficacy, to seek emergency-use authorisation

He further said “We are also stockpiling Novavax and once these authorisations are through, can supply billions of doses.”

Krishna Mohan of Bharat Biotech said, “We are also working on a nasal vaccine that doesn’t syringes. That should make immunisation smoother and easier.”

V.G. Somani, Drug Controller General of India said “We will have a happy new year with something in hand, I can hint at that.”

Mr. Somani said “There is a challenge in that people may not be inclined to participate in a trial once a vaccine is available under emergency use. However this won’t be a problem till the next 3-4 months.”

Renu Swarup, Secretary, DBT, said “In 4k-5k samples that we have sequenced so far, we haven’t found an ‘Indian variant’.”

Shahid Jameel, virologist and head, Trivedi School of Biosciences, Ashoka University, said “Minor mutations will not affect vaccine efficacy. But from a scientific perspective widespread, large rollout use of vaccines may generate a selection pressure, in that certain mutations could accumulate and reduce efficacy. We have seen this in hepatitis B. However so far in the short term it looks like the new variant isn’t particularly increasing mortality.”

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