New Delhi, Sep 23: A vaccine for the COVID-19 will likely be ready by early 2021 but rolling it out safely across India’s 1.3 billion people will be the country’s biggest challenge in fighting its surging epidemic, a leading vaccine scientist told Bloomberg.
India, which is host to some of the front-runner vaccine clinical trials, currently has no local infrastructure in place to go beyond immunizing babies and pregnant women, said Gagandeep Kang, professor of microbiology at the Vellore-based Christian Medical College and a member of the WHO’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety.
The timing of the vaccine is a contentious subject around the world. In the U.S., President Donald Trump has contradicted a top administration health expert by saying a vaccine would be available by October.
In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had promised an indigenous vaccine as early as mid-August, a claim the government and its apex medical research body has since walked back.