After Covishield, Covaxin, Sputnik-V, Moderna becomes the fourth vaccine to be administered in India for emergency use authorisation (EUA) as the Mumbai-based pharmaceutical company Cipla has received approval from drug regulator DCGI (Drug Controller General of India) for its import.
As the variants spread across the country, will the Moderna vaccine work effectively against the new variants and tackle the crisis? All you need to know in this article is about the Moderna vaccine being developed in the United States.
Moderna vaccine is called the mRNA-1273 vaccine. It is a two-dose vaccine given 28 days apart with 94% efficacy. The vaccine is composed of Messenger RNA, or mRNA is a technology that reminds our cells how to make a protein or a part of a protein that causes an immune response inside the human body.
The new variants of SARS-CoV-2, namely the B.1.1.7 (Alpha variant) and the 501Y.V2 (Beta variant), do not damage the effectiveness of the Moderna mRNA vaccine, or it remains intact till the current evidence available. Though, the supervision, collection and assessment of data on new variants and their impact on the effectiveness of Covid-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines is underway.
The Indian government received an application from Moderna through their Indian partner Cipla after which the drug regulator has permitted the vaccine restricted emergency use authorisation.
According to NITI Aayog’s (Health) member, VK Paul, the Moderna vaccine will come in as a ready-to-use injectable vaccine that can be kept for seven months at the specified temperature. Normal storage after the vial gets opened is around 30 days.
He said, “We are working to ensure that India is able to manufacture this vaccine here. We are also looking at increasing the production of vaccines that are being manufactured in our country to boost availability. Permission for restricted use in emergencies is given for the Moderna vaccine keeping in mind the public interest.
“The firm has to submit a safety assessment of the vaccine in the first 100 beneficiaries before rolling out the vaccine for further immunisation programmes, according to the approval order. It, however, does not need any bridging study,” Dr Paul added.
Until June 28, 11 states and one Union Territory of India such as Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Haryana, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Jammu, have reported Delta Variant cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the possible side-effects of Moderna’s Covid vaccine could include redness, swelling, and pain in the arm. In addition, a vaccinated individual can also feel headaches, tiredness, muscle pain, chills, nausea fever. It further said the side effects take place within a day or two of receiving the vaccine. Therefore, they are suitable signs that the human body is enabling protection and should go away after a few days only.
The Moderna Covid vaccine gets sanctioned for use in over 40 countries comprising the US, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Israel, Pakistan, Qatar, UK, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Ireland, Canada, Germany, France and others.