India may hold the key for manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines for the developing world

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Ask [billionaire Adar Poonawalla] about the race for a coronavirus vaccine and he will offer some unvarnished opinions.

One prominent vaccine candidate requiring ultra-cold storage is “a joke” that will not work for the developing world. Anyone who declares how long a vaccine will confer immunity is talking “nonsense.” The world’s entire population will not be immunized until 2024, he says, contrary to rosier predictions.

Poonawalla is equally frank about the gamble his company, Serum Institute of India, is making in the pandemic. He is putting $250 million of his family’s fortune into a bid to ramp up manufacturing capacity to 1 billion doses through 2021.

“I decided to go all out,” said Poonawalla, 39.

Related article:  Evolution and COVID-19: How nature is staying one step ahead of vaccines and the dangers that pose for the years ahead

It is a bet with global repercussions. In the quest for effective coronavirus vaccines, India is poised to play a critical role in supplying the developing world, which is starting the race with a distinct disadvantage. Wealthy countries have already grabbed a major chunk of the available supply.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Anthony S. Fauci, the top infectious-disease specialist in the United States, shared that sentiment during a panel earlier this year. India’s manufacturing capability is “going to be very, very important” as effective vaccines emerge, he said.

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Trending green and going great — Every state in the US seeing decreased cases of COVID

Infographic: Trending green and going great — Every state in the US seeing decreased cases of COVID

The U.S. averaged fewer than 40,000 new cases per day over the past week. That’s a 21% improvement over the ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists