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Home / Science / Health /  About 20 COVID-19 vaccines in different stages of developments in India: Vardhan

About 20 vaccines are in the different stages of developments in India, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday. India has initiated an integrated response to overcome the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, Vardhan added.

Union health minister was speaking at the 8th BRICS STI Ministerial Meeting on Friday. Vardhan said India is also hosting clinical trials for all the major vaccines. Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, is conducting trials for the vaccine developed by Oxford University, he said

Two of them are in the most advanced stage of development. COVAXIN developed through ICMR-Bharat Biotech collaboration and COVISHIELD from the Serum Institute of India. Both are in Phase-III clinical trial stage, he added.

"One of our pharma giants, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, will distribute the Russian vaccine in India after conducting final-stage human trials and receiving regulatory approval," the minister said.

"From the development of indigenous vaccines, novel point-of-care diagnostics and therapeutic formulations based on traditional knowledge, to establishing research resources and offering services, Indian R&D entities, both public and private, are working relentlessly to develop effective interventions for combating the pandemic," Vardhan, who holds the charge of Health Ministry as well as the Science and Technology Ministry, said.

He said the government has announced a USD 120 million grant for COVID-19 vaccine research. This is being provided for CovidSuraksha (Mission for protection from COVID-19) and is to be used purely for research and development in this field, he said.

"The grant does not cover the actual cost of the vaccine and its distribution expenses, which will be made separately as and when the vaccine is available," he said.

Valery Falkov, Russian Minister of Science and Higher Education, Marcos Pontes, Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Huang Wei, First Vice Minister of Science and Technology, China, Bonginkosi Emmanuel Nzimande, South African Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology and several other dignitaries from member countries participated in the meeting.

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