‘Beginning of end’ to the pandemic, says Centre after approval of two vaccines for human trials in India

NEW DELHI: Till now India has developed two vaccines which have been approved for human clinical trials. More than 140 vaccine candidates are in the race to fight Covid-19 out of which only 11 vaccine candidates has been given nod to human clinical trials and two vaccines got approval in India, stated in a letter by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

“The nod by Drug Controller General of India, CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation), for conduct of human trial for vaccines, marks the beginning of the end,” the ministry’s letter added.

“Six Indian companies are working on a COVID-19 vaccine. Along with two Indian vaccines, COVAXIN and ZyCov-D, world over 11 out of 140 vaccine candidates are in human trials,” the ministry said.

The leading vaccine candidate is AZD1222 developed Jenner Institute of University of Oxford and licenced to AstraZeneca British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and bio- pharmaceutical company headquartered in Cambridge, England. 

The MRNA-1273 vaccine developed by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute is just a step behind. 

However, Both the firms have already made an agreement with India for its manufacture because India accounts for 60% of vaccine supplies made to UNICEF.

“The vaccine for novel coronavirus may be developed anywhere in the world, but without Indian manufacturers involved the production of required quantities is not going to be feasible,” the ministry said. 

After medical experts had cautioned against rushing a COVID-19 vaccine, the ICMR on Saturday said, “The aim is to complete these phases at the earliest, so that population-based trials for efficacy could be initiated without delay.” 

India, a leading manufacturer of vaccines and generic medicines, is expected to play a key role in this race. The country currently stands at number 3 in worst affected by the COVID-19 virus, with more than 6.7 lakh confirmed cases so far.

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