Anthony Fauci discussed India’s role in vaccine development, the need for human trials, and more

India would play a key role in supplying the world with the Covid19 vaccine, said Anthony Fauci, top infectious disease specialist and senior adviser to U.S President Donald Trump, yesterday. Speaking during a web conference organized by the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), he underlined that conducting human challenge trials to expedite vaccine development is not essentia, said a report by The Hindu.

“India’s manufacturing capabilities is going to be very important. We have made it clear that all tests on vaccines will have to meet regulatory standards and include all ethical review and strong data monitoring and safety boards,” Fauci was quoted as saying in the report.

Based on expert consultation, Fauci said that human trials are “not essential nor ethically justified presently.” He also revealed that two potential vaccines by Moderna and Pfizer were in advanced stages of human trials, as per the report.

Rajesh Bhushan, who will take over as Health Secretary soon, conveyed that discussions were ongoing in the government on the most appropriate way to ensure equitable access to vaccines. He added that health workers will be given a priority but other stakeholders like the elderly, those with comorbidities, and socio-economic conditions are also likely to be at risk of getting severely ill by the infection; The Hindu quoted him as saying.

The conference was attended by top officials from the ICMR, the Departments of Biotechnology and the Health Ministry, and speakers from several leading research institutions in Europe as well representatives from collectives such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness said the report.

Read the complete report in The Hindu