All the four vaccines approved for use against Covid-19 meet the specifications of 50 per cent or more efficacy, noted Dr Gagandeep Kang, professor at The Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory at Christian Medical College, Vellore.
There are more than 60 Covid-19 vaccine candidates in clinical development around the world and over 200 in pre-clinical development. Their roll-out is only a matter of months, considering that at least 6 billion doses need to be available this year, Dr Kang said at a panel discussion on ‘Pandemic & preparedness’ of the webinar series, ‘Kerala health: Making the SDGs a reality,” organised by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Kerala government. A number of Covid-19 vaccines are in development stage in India too, Dr Kang said.
Dr Jacob John, virologist and Professor Emeritus CMC Vellore, said through its handling of the Covid situation, Kerala has taught other states how to be proactive rather than reactive in a pandemic situation. While the state can continue to play the leadership role in the health sector, it needs to set up a Health Protection Agency which engages in health surveillance.
Dr David Wilson, programme director at the World Bank, said in a pandemic situation, there should be far greater coordinated response when the crisis hits. Health systems in countries should have constant upskilling and preparedness even when there is no disease to combat, he said.
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