Almost nine months ago, when the Coronavirus pandemic started, the most effective drug against the disease was found to be Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), a drug mass manufactured in India. At that time, the countries around the world including the United States rushed for Indian produced HCQ to save the lives of their citizens. HCQ worked as prophylactic (preventive) against Covid-19 but it was definitely not the ultimate solution to the pandemic. Therefore, the medical community around the world rushed for the cure, and here, too, India emerged as the global leader in invention and mass manufacturing of cheap Covid vaccine.
The United States was the first to come up with Pfizer and Moderna- two Covid vaccines, however, their doses were too costly, as well as, had several issues regarding storage and logistics.
For countries with tropical climate like India, Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America, there are several issues with the storage because the average temperature is substantially high in these areas compared to what is needed for the storage of the Covid vaccines developed in the United States.
Therefore, most developing countries have placed the order for the Covid vaccine with India. So far, Brazil, South Africa, and Malaysia have placed orders with India of the either of the two vaccines being mass-produced in India.
Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being produced by the Serum Institute of India, the company which is already the global leader in vaccine production and supplies 60 per cent of the global demand for polio, hepatitis and other vaccines.
The other major player is Bharat Biotech, with which many Brazilian companies have already placed orders. Another player, Cadila Healthcare, is in the final stage of production for the cure of Covid, and this will be the second indigenous vaccine after the one developed by Bharat Biotech.
China, the country which wanted to compete with India in vaccine development, grudgingly accepted that Indian vaccines are good. Global Times, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party, published a report titled “India’s vaccine export plan could be good news for the global market despite political, economic motive: experts”.
The report quotes, Jiang Chunlai from Jilin University’s School of Life Sciences, who had visited Bharat Biotech, as saying, “Despite India’s reputation for generic drugs, the country is not behind China in vaccine R&D.”
“India has the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer Serum Institute of India that has a very mature production and supply capacity, even stronger than some Western countries. Indian manufacturers also have much earlier cooperation with global institutes including WHO, GAVI and the Pan American Health Organization in South America (PAHO), and earned their trust decades ago,” Jiang said.
The Indian government said that the neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives would get priority in exports. Pakistan is, obviously, not in the list as it preferred China over India.
After the neighbouring countries, the countries that have already placed the orders, like Brazil, South Africa and Malaysia would get the Covid vaccine. In the upcoming months, the European countries and many other developed countries would also probably demand the Indian vaccine because it is cheaper, effective, and easy to store.
Indian scientists and pharmacists thus first saved the world by giving HCQ and now the Indian manufactured vaccines would save the lives of millions. China gave Covid to the world which killed millions and now India is making progress towards saving humanity.