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India Should Have Quickly Adaptable Vaccine Platforms: COVID Task Force Chief

"We are still crying for an effective drug to fight viral diseases, including COVID-19," Dr VK Pual said.

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COVID-19
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COVID-19 Task Force Chief Dr VK Paul on Tuesday, 14 December, suggested that India should have vaccine platforms that are "adaptable quickly", owing to the changing nature of the variants. His comments come amid concerns over the spread of Omicron variant of coronavirus.

"There is a potential scenario that our vaccines may become ineffective in emerging situations. In the wake of the last three weeks of living with Omicron, we have seen how such doubts have come up. Some of them may be genuine. We still do not have the final picture," Dr Paul, who is also a NITI Ayog Member, said, according to PTI.

"And therefore, there is need for us that we have to be sure about having vaccine platforms that are adaptable quickly. This possibility that we need to tweak for us to remain in the game, so to say, with changing nature of the variants remains valid."
Dr VK Paul
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"How soon can we create a vaccine, which is using the same platform, but is now targeted to the variant of the day?" Dr Paul asked.

He then went on to suggest that the country has to be ready "to be able to have a situation where resiliently we are able to modify the vaccines as they require".

"This may not happen every three months, but this could happen every year perhaps," he added.

Further, as per Dr Paul "...the anti-microbial resistance challenge is also crying for drug solutions."

"We are still crying for an effective drug to fight viral diseases, including COVID-19," Dr VK Pual lamented, according to PTI, as he noted that there is a need to examine how India's classical drug industry can have a roadmap and risk-taking attitude.

Further, he reportedly said that he hopes coronavirus in India is possibly moving in the direction of endemicity.

The Omicron variant, meanwhile, has arrived in India, making an appearance in states like Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi, and Maharashtra. On Tuesday, India’s total tally of the new variant stood at 57.

(With inputs from PTI.)

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