Where are our vaccine data analyses?

India’s vaccine programme is progressing at a rapid pace, daily numbers exceeding 80 lakh doses, with a total of 81.85 crore doses already administered. But where are the data and analyses on the effects and efficacy of the vaccines administered? Without these, how does India propose to secure acceptance and approval of India-developed vaccines at the World Health Organisation and elsewhere?

India has fully vaccinated 20.85 crore persons, or 22.2% of the eligible population. This is roughly equal to the entire population of Brazil. A little over 60.8 crore, or 64.8% of the eligible population, have received one dose of the vaccine. What this means is that Indian companies and research bodies now potentially have access to huge amounts of data that can be analysed for a robust understanding of the impact of the vaccines. However, there is no published study of the real-life efficacy and impact of the two vaccines being administered in India: Covishield (the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India) and Covaxin (ICMR/Bharat Biotech). The data analysis gap is delaying authorisation or even the recognition of these vaccines. This analysis is critical, especially given the speed at which Covid vaccines have been delivered from lab to hospital.

Studies based on the generated data will help unlock new markets for these vaccines, help improve the vaccines, and result in creating a new generation of vaccines. The government needs to nudge organisations to analyse the data and publish it. India’s achievements in developing vaccines, be it Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin or the first DNA vaccine by Zydus

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, will serve little value if these vaccines are not adopted due to lack of recognition.



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