Covaxin is a household name today. Many of us know it as the first vaccine designed and developed by an Indian company, Bharat Biotech International Limited. In January 2021, the DCGI had recommended Restricted Use Authorization for Covaxin. The vaccine was given to the groups prioritized for vaccination after the first roll-out Phase commenced on January 16th, 2020. The core team behind the development of Covaxin has worked very hard to get this vaccine right on time led by a woman scientist Dr Sumathy K, who heads the research and development wing at Bharat Biotech.
Dr Sumathy K was also involved in the development of vaccines against Zika and Chikungunya. Her unparallel expertise and experience in the field of vaccine development proved to be crucial given the urgency that surrounded the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.