Dr. Kang is associated with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, a global consortium involved in facilitating vaccine candidates for the novel coronavirus.
In order to dispel people’s apprehension about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, prominent clinical scientist Gagandeep Kang said that although vaccines for the coronavirus are being developed in a short period of time, there have been absolutely no no compromise in your clinical tests.
Dr. Kang, who is associated with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness, a global consortium involved in facilitating vaccine candidates for the novel coronavirus, also said there should be equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine globally and nationally. .
Known for her interdisciplinary research on the transmission, development and prevention of infections and their sequelae in children in India, Dr. Kang is also the first Indian woman to be admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society in London.
Although vaccines for the coronavirus are being developed in a “very short period of time,” all clinical phases of testing are underway, he said. PTI In an interview.
“What has changed is the approach to testing where all the steps that used to happen between phases of clinical trials have been eliminated, which means that regulators are working much harder and harder than ever,” said the Mrs. Kang.
Everybody talks about things being done very fast, but “I think it is very important to know what steps we are cutting and, frankly, in all the vaccine tests that are being done, there is no aspect of the tests that is is performing. off the path of development, “he said.
“I think it is very important to understand that there has been absolutely no compromise in the clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines. The only thing we don’t have from these trials, that we could have had otherwise, is the duration of safety follow-up. Generally, we follow up the trials for six months or a year and generally we don’t find anything additional in the six months or a year, ”Dr. Kang said.
Dr. Kang, who was executive director of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI) but resigned in July, said that something else that is different in the development of COVID-19 vaccines is that clinical trials have been conducted. very large for faster results.
To a question about the availability of cold chain capacity to store vaccines, he said equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines must be guaranteed.
The case should not be that those who live in big cities, where there is better cold chain capacity, get vaccinated while those who live in rural areas or small towns do not due to lack of storage facilities, Kang said.
“My concern with all this is the question of equity, we will end a system in which we have freezers in big cities and some classes of people can get vaccinated, while in rural areas or in small towns there is no access to these. vaccinations since the capacity of the cold chain does not exist ”, he said.
“Even in the work that we are planning to do with the Lancet Commission, equity is an important part of looking at what services are provided to whom and where, and making sure that where you live and what your socioeconomic status is does not determine what kind of services you receive, ”Dr. Kang said.
the Lancet, a world health journal, on Friday launched the Lancet Citizens Commission on Reinventing India’s Healthcare System, which will work on developing a strategy to implement universal health coverage (UHC) in India.
The magazine and Harvard University’s Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute formulated the commission together.
Speaking about the Lancet commission, Dr. Kang said its purpose is to target universal health coverage to examine all health problems, analyze physical and mental health problems and their solutions, ensure that there is no catastrophic spending on health and make sure coverage is accessible and affordable.
The commission is led by four distinguished healthcare and business leaders, including Dr. Kang and CMD Biocon Ltd Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.
“If we think about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have 2030 as their goal, there is no way we can achieve these goals with the trajectory that we have at the moment. So what we are looking to do in the next few years is try to design a roadmap to make sure that we are on a better path to achieving the SDGs, ”said Dr. Kang.
He said that in India, out-of-pocket payments for health care continue to be the highest in the world and it is one of the many reasons why many families fall into poverty. This kind of “catastrophic health spending” actually ends up promoting more health inequalities in the system, Dr. Kang said.
“We have a situation where the most vulnerable of our population do not get the services they want and there is a problem in terms of accountability where the poor are treated as beneficiaries rather than clients of the system, and there seems to be a lack of confidence in the quality of care provided by the health system, ”he said.