Phase-2 trials of Zydus Cadila’s indigenous vaccine ZyCoV-D is moving in the right direction and the data will be available by the end of November and the vaccine is likely to be available by March 2021, said Pankaj R Patel, Chairman of Zydus Cadila in an interview to ET NOW.
As the COVID-19 cases continue to climb across the world ( > 35 Million) and India (~6.7 Million), there is enormous expectation and interest on the trials’ results of vaccines that have been granted approvals for vaccine development.
Globally there are 11 vaccines that are undergoing Phase 3 large scale efficacy tests. Pankaj R Patel said that the results of these tests will be available between now and 2020-end or early-2021.
Once these vaccines pass the Phase 3 trials and get the necessary regulatory approvals, they can be produced in scale and distributed across the world.
One of the major concerns around the COVID vaccine debate is the issue of distribution. For instance, the vaccine developed by BioNTech, Pfizer and Fosun Pharma is currently undergoing Phase-3 trials.
Pfizer’s Chief Executive Albert Bourla expects to manufacture 1.3 billion doses worldwide by the end of 2021 if Phase-3 trials yielded results.
Pankaj Patel was optimistic that there would be no such challenges in distributing vaccines from manufacturing hubs to various parts of India including hospitals as the distribution system is well established in the country. However, the Chairman of Zydus Cadila highlighted the key challenges concerning the availability and storage of the vaccines.
Challenges In Distributing The COVID Vaccine
Pankaj Patel stressed that the three vaccines that are being developed across India require a storage temperature of 2-8 degree Celsius. While the capabilities exist to manage the storage temperature threshold, the parameters may be different for other vaccines developed globally.
If a global vaccine with a lower storage temperature is found to be efficient, then developing the storage capabilities could be an area to focus on. Pankaj Patel also highlighted the need to enhance the abilities of healthcare workers and prepare them for administering the vaccine for crores of people across the country.