Tamil Nadu

Funds being raised to make COVID-19 vaccine free for public, says Soumya Swaminathan

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami giving away the award to Dr. Soumya Swaminathan on Saturday

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami giving away the award to Dr. Soumya Swaminathan on Saturday   | Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

People need to have a lot of patience as the wait for a COVID-19 vaccine continues, and at least one or two vaccines with complete trial data can be expected by the year end, World Health Organisation chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan said.

“The general public are likely to get the vaccine free. We are raising funds for this on a global scale,” she said after accepting the Chief Minister’s Special Award for COVID-19 at the 74th Independence Day celebrations held at Fort St. George on Saturday. The award was presented by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami for her role in advising the State government in tackling the pandemic.

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said that globally, there are about 200 vaccine candidates under development and one or two are likely to provide trial data of all three phases by the end of the year.

“A vaccine will take one to one-and-half years [to hit the market]. There is a testing process and there are guidelines issued by the WHO on what trials need to be done. Only then can it be licensed and authorisations given. No vaccine has come to the stage where all data for the vaccine has been given. We are expecting one or two vaccines’ data will be given by the end of the year and then we will give directions,” Dr. Soumya said. She said the phase-1 of vaccine trials in India are currently underway. “It needs 9-12 months for phase 2-3 to be complete.”

Dr. Soumya said people will have to have a lot of patience, maintain physical distancing, wear masks and avoid crowded places till a vaccine is made available. “For at least another year, all of us have to adjust to this ‘new normal’. It’s a social responsibility. We need to protect ourselves and others by taking precautions,” she emphasised.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2020 4:47:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/funds-being-raised-to-make-covid-19-vaccine-free-for-public-says-soumya-swaminathan/article32362044.ece

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