Covid vaccine: India expects to ‘begin vaccination in January’

Covid vaccine: India expects to ‘begin vaccination in January’

The officials – who requested anonymity – said a few vaccine candidates were likely to get emergency-use authorisation from the drug regulator in the next few weeks.

Two companies have already applied for consideration, and six more are in various stages of clinical trials.

The vaccination programme aims to reach 300 million people by early August.

India has recorded nearly 10 million Covid-19 cases, and more than 144,000 deaths from the disease so far. The vaccination roll-out plans are being made even as the contagion shows marked signs of a slowdown.

What vaccines are under consideration?

The Covishield vaccine made by Serum Institute of India, which has partnered with British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca; and Covaxin, being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) have already applied for authorisation.

The other candidates which are in different stages of trials to test safety and efficacy include:

  • ZyCov-Di, being developed by Ahmedabad-based Zydus-Cadila
  • Vaccine being developed by Hyderabad-based Biological E, the first Indian private vaccine making company, in collaboration with MIT
  • HGCO19, India’s first mRNA vaccine made by Pune-based Genova in collaboration with Seattle-based HDT Biotech Corporation, using bits of genetic code to cause an immune response
  • A nasal vaccine by Bharat BioTech
  • The Sputnik V vaccine candidate developed by Dr Reddy’s Lab and Gamaleya National Centre in Russia
  • A second vaccine being developed by Serum Institute of India and American vaccine development company Novavax

Four of these eight vaccines were being developed indigenously, the officials said.

The officials also disputed media reports that India had pre-booked millions of doses from a number of vaccine makers around the world, saying they were already satisfied with the stocks in the country…Read more>>



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