Coronavirus | CSIR-CCMB working on three varied potential COVID-19 vaccine platforms

Director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Rakesh K. Mishra launch of CoronAid at Atal Incubation Centre-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (AIC-CCMB) in Hyderabad on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) Director Rakesh Mishra on Thursday disclosed the institute has been working on three varied platforms in association with other CSIR labs in Chandigarh and Kolkata on potential vaccines to deal with COVID-19 virus.

“These platforms are slightly different from the vaccines currently under testing. They are based on ‘pseudo virus’ and ‘pre-processed protiens’. We are now testing them on mice, if they are responsive, we will give the technology to Aurobindo Pharma for making of vaccines,” he told the media during the launch of ‘CoronaAID’ food supplement.

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At the same time, he cautioned that an ‘effective’ vaccine could be many months or years away. “It may or may not come. We should be prepared to fight this pandemic without a vaccine. Even if we are lucky to get a vaccine out by the end of the year or later, it could take many months to vaccinate the 1.30 billion people across the country because of the logistics required in maintaining cold storage chains and likely requirement of more than one dose,” he explained.

Yet, any vaccine’s efficacy could only be determined over a course of time of several months or a couple of years because no one can predict how effective it could be to people of different age groups. “It is only after six months or a year we can claim how the vaccine has functioned. But then never before in history so much effort and money have gone into combating a single virus so we keep the fingers crossed,” said Dr. Mishra.

Since it has been now established that 20-30% country’s population have antibodies there is a possibility of ‘herd immunity’ happening in next six months or one year when the infection rate may come down but this cannot be “rushed”, he asserted.

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In the meantime, “we cannot afford to crowd hospitals even though capacities have been enhanced since March-April. The focus should continue to be on testing and isolation,” said Dr. Mishra.

The CCMB Director reiterated the ‘Social Vaccine’ doctrine. “We have to learn to live without a magic medicine or vaccine for a while by wearing a face mask, maintaining social distancing and practising hand hygiene - wash hands every time especially when you want to put something in the mouth,” he maintained.

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Printable version | Nov 23, 2020 10:47:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/csir-ccmb-working-on-three-varied-potential-covid-19-vaccine-platforms/article32918700.ece

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