On Thursday, Harsh Vardhan, the Union Health Minister said that India might have COVID-19 vaccine by the first half of 2021. It has been 6 months since the global coronavirus pandemic. However, there is yet no vaccine available to treat COVID-19.
In India, there are 3 vaccine candidates which are at different stages of the clinical trial. Covaxin was India’s first vaccine candidate against the COVID-19. It is currently in its Phase II human trials in the country.
“There had been ‘no side effects’ in the phase I trial of Covaxin,” Dr E Venkata Rao, principal investigator of the trial at Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, faculty of medical sciences, said.
ZyCoV-D, developed by Zydus Cadila began its phase II clinical trials from August 6. “The company reports that the doses of the vaccine administered to healthy volunteers in the phase I clinical trial, which began on July 15, 2020, has been well tolerated,” Cadila Healthcare said.
Serum Institute of India which is Pune based recently started the advance clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine. This vaccine was made by the University of Oxford.
Recently, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, headquartered in Hyderabad, agreed to help conduct final-stage human trials of Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine in India.
After obtaining the regulatory clearances, the firm will distribute up to 100 million doses for mass vaccination in the country.
The health minister said that the COVID-19 vaccine will be first made available to people who need it the most despite their paying capacity.
Harsh Vardhan said that the Central Government is planning to provide emergency authorization of the COVID-19 vaccine in special cases like senior citizens, people who are working in high-risk environments.
To allay fears regarding the safety aspect of the vaccines, he earlier said, “I shall be the first to offer myself for receiving COVID vaccine, if people have a trust deficit.”
“We are not lagging behind anyone else in the whole world in our efforts to contribute towards the vaccine against COVID… In India we have about 7-8 vaccine candidates, three of them in the clinical trial phases and rest in the pre- clinical trials,” Vardhan said earlier.