Seven more COVID vaccine candidates are in clinical trials. Some of them are in the advanced phase of the trials, health minister said
Amid rising number of coronavirus cases in the country, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday assured, "The situation is under control," reported news agency ANI. "However, we don't have to be complacent in terms of observing COVID appropriate behaviour," Vardhan further added, according to ANI. At least 430 districts in India have not reported a single case of coronavirus in the last 28 days, he mentioned.
Talking about COVID-19 vaccine development in the country, Vardhan said, "Seven more COVID vaccine candidates are in clinical trials. Some of them are in the advanced phase of the trials. Around two dozen vaccines are in pre-clinical trials."
India earlier granted emergency use approval to Covishield by Serum Institute of India and Covaxin by Bharat Biotech. On side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines, health minister said, "Both Indian vaccines are safe and effective. A lot of people still have doubts regarding vaccines. I urge them not to believe what is being circulated in WhatsApp university."
India started nationwide COVID-19 vaccination on 16 January with healthcare workers and frontline workers. The list included health workers, both from government and private institutions, along with sanitation workers, other frontline workers, defence forces, police and other paramilitary forces. In the next phase of COVID-19 inoculation drive commenced on 1 March, those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with co-morbid conditions were eligible for vaccinations. Starting from 1 April, people above 45 years old will be able to take vaccines against novel coronavirus.
"There are only a few rare cases wherein people contracted COVID-19 after taking vaccines. Even if someone tests positive after taking vaccines, it minimalises the chances of their hospitalization or admission to ICU wards," Vardhan added.
At least 6,11,13,354 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far in the country.