Karnataka may get COVID-19 vaccine by early 2021 and once it’s available the state government will ensure it reaches “every nook and corner of the state”, said Karnataka Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar on October 27, 2020. He made this statement right after he met with AstraZeneca, a pharmaceutical company that is conducting coronavirus vaccine trials.
AstraZeneca, in collaboration with Pune’s Serum Institute and Oxford University, has undertaken vaccine trials. They successfully conducted the first phase of the trial for 56 days and are set to conduct the second and third levels of trial on 1,600 people. The distribution of the vaccine within the state was also discussed in this meeting.
The minister said if the second- and third-level trials are successful, they will start issuing the vaccine in the state after the central government’s approval. AstraZeneca’s project plans to supply vaccines for 100 crore people, added the minister.
During the first level of trials, the antibodies were produced in 28 days, and it was conducted on uninfected people first. However, the second and third levels include vaccinating the recovered COVID-19 patients.
Since the vaccine is under trial, its price has not been decided yet. Technical committees will be formed in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to distribute the vaccine.
Gagandeep Singh, managing director of AstraZeneca, and Dr Sudharshan, chairman of the Technical Advisory Committee, were also present at the meeting.
AstraZeneca India, a subsidiary of Astra Zeneca Plc, UK, is headquartered in Bengaluru, Karnataka. It covers manufacturing, sales and marketing operations of the company in India. The company majorly works in the area of cancer, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses, inflammation and infections. It is a British and Swedish biopharmaceutical company that produces and markets medicines used by millions of people around the world making it one of the top 10 biopharmaceutical companies in the world.