Why India Does Not Need J&J Vaccine Candidate
Johnson & Johnson, the world’s biggest vaccine making company is running ahead of many of its counterparts, in supplying the Covid-19 vaccine to the world. It has now shown keen interest to supply to India as well, though India is happy with the current Astra Zeneca supply and its own indigenous variety as well.
It is worth noting that the J&J vaccine is currently under review in the US. However, Africa has already canceled its deal on Astra Zeneca and wishes to replace it with the J&J variety instead. It is a single jab vaccine advantage. Additionally, the vaccine seems to be more effective against severe disease across age groups, geographies, and virus variants, including variants found in South Africa.
Its Phase 3 trial has taken into account some 40,000 people across the US, South Africa, and Latin America. However, the vaccine candidate is awaiting proper clearance from the medical boards involved.
For India, J&J has already tied up with Biological E, a privately held company that will contract manufacture for the American pharma giant as many as 60 crore doses. According to NITI Aayog member Dr. Vinod Kumar Paul, “India is pretty satisfied with the use of the Astra Zeneca vaccine candidate that is being massively used in the Indian inoculation program.” It stands confirmed that the country has already asked for a 10 million additional dosage supply from the UK vaccine strain.
The Indian government is currently using AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine from the Serum Institute and COVAXIN from Bharat Biotech. The two shots have been used in what India calls the world’s biggest immunization program to cover 300 million people by August, starting with healthcare and other workers to reach the elderly and those with existing conditions by March.
India has been one of the few nations that can boast of having taken on the responsibility to supply literally 70percent of the supply for Covid-19 vaccine, as per a recent public statement made by Minister of Home Affairs, Mr. Amit Shah. But it is depending on its own creations. India has already started to supply vaccine to neighbouring nations including a huge lot that was air transported last week to South of Africa.