The latest assault is in the form of the new “Islands Development” programme being steered by Niti Aayog, and the focus of this Note, ironically on World Environment Day. An article specific to the issue by one of the authors published in Newsclick is also appended...For more details..Click the link to the post..
The AIPSN statement has been endorsed by more than 200 scientists, academics and doctors with many prominent persons amongst them. The call features 7 demands. Three of the demands are given below. For more read the link to the post 1.The existing public sector undertakings and state owned enterprises be revived and assisted to ramp up vaccine production. 2.The use of the Integrated Vaccine Complex at Chengalpattu be handed over to TamilNadu Government with clear provisions allowing the state governments, public sector undertakings and state owned enterprises for contractual manufacturing of Covid vaccines using the facility. 3.Compulsory licenses or appropriate legislation be issued where required to enable interested parties for production of COVID 19 vaccines.
No other major country, including the most market friendly nations, has adopted a vaccination strategy of this kind, precisely for the reasons enumerated here...... The new strategy is not a win-win solution as propagated. Corporates, private health care institutions and the well-off will win, while the poor and the middle class will lose big time. AIPSN calls for rolling back of this new strategy and for a recalibrated fully public funded and universal vaccination programme, backed by adequate government support for vaccine manufacturers including PSUs. click the link to read more....
This AIPSN Statement is based on the position paper on the Second Wave of Covid-19 Pandemic in India. India is well and truly into a brutal second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The points made are: Accept responsibility; don’t blame the people and States; Understand role of variants, expand gene sequencing; Increase testing, tracing and surveillance; Address Vaccine shortage & Equity; Scale-up Vaccine production and availability; Address Licensing/ IP issues; Oppose misguided vaccine nationalism. Click the link to read more...
All India Peoples Science Network welcomes the first interim efficacy data from Phase-3 clinical trials as released by M/S Bharat Biotech for the indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine “Covaxin”....click link to read more... AIPSN hopes that the nearly 81% efficacy shown by the first interim analysis of Covaxin phase 3 trials will now help dispel the earlier vaccine hesitancy due to hasty approval without data. AIPSN appeals to all eligible people to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves and prevent others who cannot be vaccinated from getting Covid-19. It is hoped that Bharat Biotech will now ramp up production to required levels and join the international battle against Covid-19 with full confidence. It is time the Government realizes that promotion of true self-reliance is not well-served by artificial support or false claims, but by promotion of quality R&D and products that can match the best in the world and compete globally on its own merits.
Click the link to read the details... AIPSN urges: The Union Government issue special protocols for Covaxin administration in “clinical trial mode,” including obtaining informed consent or refusal of recipients and ensuring compliance with all CDSCO/SEC approval conditions; CDSCO and ICMR to ensure that all clinical trials conform to necessary ethical, scientific and technical standards; All State Governments take a hard decision on whether to deploy Covaxin widely, or whether to strictly conform to CDSCO/SEC conditions of limited “trial mode” deployment; All doses of Covaxin distributed to States so far be held in stock by them and not administered till greater clarity is given by the Government or till CDSCO/SEC approval conditions are amended based on efficacy data from Bharat Biotech-ICMR as promised.
India’s regulatory authority for medical products, the Central Drug Standards Control Organization (CDSCO), gave “restricted emergency approval” on 2nd January 2020 for two Covid-19 Vaccines, namely Serum Institute of India (SII)’s “Covishield” being manufactured in India under technology transfer from Oxford University-Astra Zeneca, and the indigenous “Covaxin” developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR/National Institute of Virology...click link to read more.... AIPSN calls for: a)Re-consideration of approval for Covaxin till efficacy data is available or, at least, strict adherence to conditions specified in the CDSCO order implying no roll-out of Covaxin for mass vaccination. b) Phase-III efficacy trials for both vaccines continue without extraneous pressure and the data published at the earliest. c) No vaccine or Covid-19 related drug be released for commercial use in the private sector until regular approval as per protocols (as distinct from emergency use authorization) are obtained.
India-South Africa Proposal for TRIPS Waiver – Putting People before Profit As Covid-19 pandemic continues to keep its grip on the globe, countries are facing severe shortages in medical supplies and treatments, with intellectual property rights hindering the timely provisioning of affordable medical products. To address this, India and South Africa have put in a proposal at the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), demanding a temporary waiver of certain TRIPS obligations on copyrights and related rights, industrial designs, patents, and the protection of undisclosed information in relation to the prevention, containment or treatment of Covid-19. ...CLICK link to read more....
The Government of India needs to urgently undertake the following so as to ensure a safe, effective and free universal vaccination programme against Covid-19. Two of the seven demands made in the position paper are highlighted here: 6. Bring out a white paper on the system and related costs for vaccine procurement and delivery, along with details of the expansion of public health infrastructure and human resources that would go with it; 7. Set up a Parliamentary Committee to oversee the implementation of the Covid-19 Vaccination programme in an effective, timely and equitable manner and a broad based Advisory Committee including representation of the scientific community and civil society organizations. For more details click in the link..
AIPSN calls upon the SEC and DCGI to fearlessly conduct a thorough scientific assessment of available early data from Phase-3 trials in India or abroad independent of political, bureaucratic and commercial interests in deciding upon EUA for different vaccine candidates. AIPSN further calls for releasing the data based on which any recommendation is made in the interests of transparency, gain confidence of the scientific and medical community in India and internationally, and so as to allay any fears about safety and efficacy of vaccines to be rolled out. This is especially crucial if India is to contribute to the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic through its indigenously developed vaccines. While granting EUA, it is also important to set up extensive surveillance of the vaccination programme, and to continue with rigorous Phase-III trials and peer review and publication of its data.