The Indian PM pledged to make the vaccine available for the whole 1.35 billion population of India.
Rabat – India is ready to mass-produce COVID-19 vaccines, as soon as scientists give the green light, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Saturday, August 15.
In a speech given during the celebrations of India’s Independence Day, Modi revealed that his country is currently testing three different vaccines for COVID-19.
“Not one, not two, as many as three coronavirus vaccines are being tested in India,” the PM announced.
According to him, the South Asian country has the ability to massively produce vaccines when they are approved.
Modi assured his compatriots that “the roadmap for distribution of vaccine to every single Indian in the least possible time is also ready.”
To prepare for the distribution of potential COVID-19 vaccines, India is set to launch a National Digital Health Mission. The system will record the medical history and situation of all Indians under a “Health ID.”
Local media widely shared the optimistic speech, announcing India’s entry into the global race to produce a safe and efficient vaccine for COVID-19.
On August 11, Russia became the first country to develop and register a COVID-19 vaccine.
“This morning, for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a video conference with his ministers.
According to Putin, one of his daughters was already inoculated and is feeling well.
The Gamaleya Institute in Moscow developed the vaccine after less than two months of human testing.
“I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests,” Putin said, before announcing plans for mass production by September.
Putin’s statement, however, did not appease the international community. The Russian vaccine, titled “Sputnik V,” received criticism from several health experts.
To register its vaccine before any other country, Russia skipped Phase 3 trials for “Sputnik V.” The phase usually includes thousands of human tests and extends over several months or years.
In addition to India, countries that are actively attempting to develop COVID-19 vaccines include China and the US.
In July, the New York Times reported that China was offering several prototype vaccines to employees of state-owned companies and the military, breaching medical ethics.
The US newspaper qualified the move of testing people outside of the normal regulatory process as “unethical.”
Meanwhile, in the US, Operation Warp Speed is ongoing with the goal of producing a vaccine and making it available to everyone in the US “ideally within the first half of 2021.”
The operation, led by Moroccan-born immunologist Moncef Slaoui, is funding eight potential COVID-19 vaccines in hopes of delivering 300 million doses by January 2021. So far, five of those vaccines are in Phase 3 clinical trials.