Episode 10

(Published on 05/25/2021)

Indian Innovation Rising to the COVID Challenge

Against the backdrop of India’s punishing second wave of COVID-19, Dr. Raches Ella of Bharat Biotech joins the podcast to talk about the company’s pioneering work in vaccines. He discusses their own COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, the challenges India faces right now in administering vaccine to such a large population, and their innovative work in developing a respiratory vaccine to fight a respiratory virus.

Special Guests


  • 04:07 When the virus hit, Bharat Biotech were well placed to respond. The result is Covaxin.
  • 09:58 Just how effective are the vaccines against the COVID-19 variants of concern?
  • 15:30 20 million doses of Covaxin have been administered in India. While all production is currently mandated for domestic use, the only way out of the pandemic is equitable distribution of vaccine globally.
  • 18:36 India leveraged its childhood vaccination program to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 20:15 As a country with high levels of infectious diseases, vaccine hesitancy is not really an issue in India.
  • 22:53 Respiratory vaccine for a respiratory virus: Bharat Biotech have partnered with Washington University in St. Louis to develop an intranasal vaccine. Currently in trials and hoping for release by the end of this year.
  • 26:12 What can the world do right now to help India? A great start would be standardized protocols for treating and managing COVID-19 from the WHO.
  • 31:10 Beyond COVID-19: Bharat Biotech are also working on vaccines for polio, cholera and chikungunya.
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