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India’s Vaccine Growth Story

India’s Vaccine Growth Story
From Cowpox to Vaccine Maitri

  • Sajjan Singh Yadav - Additional Secretary, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, Government of India

June 2022 | 308 pages | SAGE Select
Did you know that vaccines save 3 million lives annually?  This potent group of weapons has notably annihilated smallpox, pushed polio to the verge of elimination and is now taking on COVID-19 as the dreaded virus keeps changing forms to survive in its fierce battle with humankind.   
Indians practised inoculation centuries before the West discovered vaccines in 1796. India’s Vaccine Growth Story charts the journey of vaccines from the Jennerian era to the COVID-19 pandemic, covering multiple facets of vaccines, from the Indian and global perspective. Apart from discussing vaccine leadership, vaccine nationalism, vaccine hesitancy, eagerness and equity, as well as the latest diplomatic currency—the vaccine-maitri, the book also tracks the decade-long vaccine development cycle that was drastically cut short to a few months, taking readers through India’s exciting and meticulously-planned sojourn of executing the world’s largest vaccination drive.
Foreword by Dr Vinod K. Paul
Preface: The Silver Bullet
Cowpox to COVID-19
Evolution of Vaccines
India’s Vaccine Growth Story: World’s Vaccine Pharmacy
Vaccine Economy: Lifesaver and Money Machine
Developing Vaccines at Pandemic Speed
World’s Biggest Vaccination Drive
Tackling Vaccine Hesitancy, Equity and Eagerness
India’s Vaccine Diplomacy
Promoting Mass Vaccinations: Role of Leadership
Epilogue: New Arsenal, New Challenges

Home-grown vaccines have helped India overcome the mammoth,unprecedented challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Domestic R&D and manufacturing have produced vaccines which have eff ectively blunted the sting of many other infectious
diseases too. In this book, Dr Yadav has not only presented several fascinating stories behind the development of vaccines but also provided the readers a spread of diverse and topical issues surrounding vaccines. It’s a comprehensive and valuable treatise which should find a place in every bookshelf.

Rajesh Bhushan
Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India

Dr Sajjan Yadav’s book is an illuminating account of the growth journey of vaccines spanning over two centuries. Vaccines are among the most profound public health tools to reduce and eradicate infectious diseases. Th e ravaging COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the power of vaccines in saving lives and yet, quite ironically, anti-vaccine sentiment is becoming a growing threat. Dr Yadav eloquently conveys the value of vaccine equity, both between and within countries, and digs deep into India’s impressive achievement in developing, producing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines. It is a highly recommended read for everyone interested in a one-stop read on vaccines.

Anuradha Gupta
Deputy CEO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Vaccines, undoubtedly, are the key to global health security and sustainable development. Equitable access to effective and safe vaccines is vital not only to end the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic but also to save millions of lives annually. In this deeply researched book, Dr Sajjan Yadav presents the stories of development of vaccines from scratch and narrates with ease the tale of transformation of India into a vaccine superpower. His bird’s eye view on the subject put out in a simple and interesting language presents a captivating account of the development of vaccines for COVID-19 at a pandemic speed and conduct of the world’s largest vaccination drive by India. This page turner also delves upon many novel concepts such as vaccine diplomacy, vaccine economy, vaccine equity, vaccine nationalism and vaccine leadership. The book will be of immense interest to a wide variety of audience, including health professionals, students, administrators and the audience looking to understand the subject in detail.

Professor Randeep Guleria
Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

This book packs in a delightful tale on vaccines with nuggets of important information associated with them. This brilliant compilation not just tells the birthing stories of various vaccines but also delves upon the whole gamut of issues surrounding the topic starting from their social and economic benefits to the impact of ‘Vaccine Maitri’ on international relations. I’d highly recommend it for all readers interested to know the history and science behind this lifesaver.

Professor (Dr) Balram Bhargava
Secretary, Department of Health Research, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research

Immunization is a cornerstone of public health policy. In India’s Vaccine Growth Story, Dr Yadav has given us a highly readable account of the colourful history of vaccines and vaccination, which is both educational and entertaining: From cowpox to COVID-19, this book is a must-have for anyone seeking a better understanding of viruses and immunology. It will certainly make a valuable addition to every growing family’s home library.

Dr Phil Edwards
Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Statistics, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Arriving at the right time, this book tells the birthing stories of various vaccines and their benefits to mankind and also explains the vaccine leadership, vaccine nationalism, hesitancy, eagerness and equity. It is a must-read and must-have for policymakers, medical practitioners, researchers, public health officials and, of course, every concerned citizen who should know that how science has been saving millions of people every year from infectious demons starting from smallpox to COVID-19.

Shyamlal Yadav
Senior Editor, The Indian Express

Sajjan Singh Yadav has presented the vaccine story in an uncomplicated way, alongside the history and geography of vaccine production, worldwide. Coupled with stories of national prowess and humanitarian outreach, the book is a useful compendium for those involved in the formulation and execution of vaccine programmes or pursuing education and research. The author’s civil service background has enabled him to think laterally, although a penchant for India’s achievements is discernible.

Shailaja Chandra
Former Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Government of India, Former Chief Secretary, Delhi

The last few decades have shown us that efficacious, safe and costeffective vaccines are a powerful tool to overcome many global health challenges, including eradicating disease. India’s emergence as a vaccine superpower has greatly contributed to the widespread global availability of affordable, high-quality vaccines which help save countless lives across the world. In this well-researched and comprehensive volume on India’s vaccines story, Dr Yadav weaves a compelling narrative about this journey and future opportunities. This book is an essential reading for anyone interested in public health and the role of Indian innovation.

Hari Menon
Country Director–India, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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ISBN: 9789354795237