2 min read.Updated: 19 Aug 2020, 11:11 PM IST Written By Staff Writer
India has two indigenous vaccine candidates Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and ZyCOV-D by Zydus Cadila
The COVID-19 vaccine candidates coordinated by Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila are nearing completion of phase II trials
India is leaving no stone unturned in developing a vaccine against coronavirus infection. Two homegrown vaccine candidates — Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and ZyCOV-D by Zydus Cadila — have almost finished the phase II clinical trials. As the whole nation is eagerly waiting for a 'safe and effective' vaccine, there have been talks of 'emergency authorisation' of India's COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
A top ICMR official told a parliamentary panel on Wednesday that phase-two clinical trial of two indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine candidates have almost been completed and emergency authorisation of a vaccine could be considered if the Centre decides so, according to a report in PTI.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava informed members of the parliamentary standing committee on home affairs that the vaccine candidates developed by Bharat Biotech, Cadila and the Serum Institute of India are at different stages of trial, said an MP present in the meeting, PTI reported.
Answering when India will have a COVID-19 vaccine, the MP quoted Bhargava saying that normally the final trial takes about six to nine months but if the government decides, an emergency authorisation could be considered, according news agency PTI.
The COVID-19 vaccine candidates coordinated by Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila are nearing completion of phase II trials, the official said. Meanwhile, Serum Institute of India is all set to start the phase II trial of COVID-19 vaccine developed by University of Oxford and AstraZeneca. British Swedish firm has partnered with SII to manufacture Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for India and other low and middle income countries.
"I want to tell people, the talent of our scientists is like that of 'rishi munis' and they are working very hard in laboratories. Three vaccines are in various stages of testing. When scientists will give us the green signal, it will be produced on a mass scale and all preparations have been made for it," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing the nation on Independence Day.
Pune based drug maker has selected 17 sites in India to conduct the trial. A total of 1,600 candidates will take part in the study. Each participant will be administered two doses in a gap of four weeks. First dose will be given on day one and second dose will be scheduled on day 29, according to the study design.
Russia became the first country in the world to register a COVID-19 vaccine. Russian President Vlamdimir Putin asserted that the vaccine "has passed all the necessary tests." Dubbed as Sputnik V, the vaccine was developed by Gamaleya Research Institute and the Russian defence ministry. The vaccine is expected to provide immunity from the coronavirus for up to two years, according to Russian health ministry. Clinical human studies started June 17 among 76 volunteers. Russia registered the vaccine after less than two months of human testing.