Pharma Industry

Covid vaccine: The vaccine race: India should revisit its animal-testing rules to be Atmanirbhar in pandemic fight

An archive picture of a boy feeding a ferret at a facility. A ferret’s respiratory system and response is similar to humans when it comes in contact with an infectious viral pathogen


For a country known for making affordable, quality medicines, India’s contribution to global efforts in developing a Covid-19 vaccine has been rather lacklustre. A dearth of human talent is not the challenge before the country. To lead the drug-development race, besides building quality infrastructure, India needs to allow testing on larger animals such as dogs and monkeys.

“Frankie died on the evening of November 1, 1953, just 61 hours after admission to the hospital. I was admitted to the same hospital, with a diagnosis of paralytic polio, on the night Frankie was buried… Eight children out of our first-grade classroom of 24 were soon diagnosed with paralytic polio; three children died including my twin. Ours was a story repeated all too often before a vaccine was available.” — Janice Flood Nichols, author,

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