ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Role of Industrial Policy in Market-friendly Economies

Case of COVID-19 Vaccine R&D and Its Manufacturing in India and Its Contrast with the US—II

The paper surveys the status of vaccine research and development and its manufacture in India and discusses the fact that the country has used industrial policy instruments rather sparingly in jump-starting R&D and manufacturing of vaccines for COVID-19 vaccines. This is despite India’s acknowledged innovation capability. The paper also contrasts the Indian case with that of the United States case discussed in Part 1 of this two-part paper.

The author is grateful for the comments received during an online seminar at the Centre for Development Studies on 2 July 2021. The paper is published as Paper No 21 of the Current Issues in India’s Economy and Society Series of CDS. The usual disclaimer holds good. This paper was written in 2021.

India is one of the leading vaccine manufacturers in the developing world and the world itself. It has an installed capacity of about eight million doses of 29 different vaccines. One of the largest vaccine manufacturers globally is also in India. The country is a leading exporter of vaccines to the developing world and has been having a positive trade balance. So much earlier on in the vaccine development of COVID-19, hopes were placed on India to deliver large doses of vaccines at the lowest cost to the international vaccine partnership COVAX and other developing countries. But vaccine production in India has not been on expected lines, and Indias vaccination programme had been relatively slow. India has only one domestically produced vaccine and two other foreign vaccines manufactured under a voluntary licence from their original developer. But the country is in the process of developing many new vaccines, and three of these were expected to be available during the August through December 2021 period.

Structure of COVID-19 Vaccine Production in India

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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