Final trials of the local Covid-19 vaccine could end in two months: Harsh Vardhan | India News
The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and the private company Bharat Biotech launched third-stage trials of Covaxin this month, in a process that would involve 26,000 volunteers. It is the most advanced Indian experimental vaccine.
“We are in the process of developing our indigenous vaccines, in the process of completing our third phase trials in the next one to two months,” Harsh Vardhan told a web conference on the pandemic.
He reiterated that the government’s plan was to immunize 200 to 250 million Indians by July.
An ICMR scientist told Reuters earlier this month that the vaccine could be launched in February or March, although Bharat Biotech separately told Reuters on Friday that the results of the later stages of the trials were expected only between March and April.
However, Vardhan said in September that the government could choose to authorize emergency vaccines, especially for the elderly and people in high-risk workplaces.
Indian officials have said they hope to trust COVAXIN and four other locally proven candidates to control Covid-19 as they do not expect early access to sufficient quantities of those developed by Pfizer and Moderna.
The other experimental vaccines being tested in India are the one being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford and being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India; The Sputnik-V of Russia; ZyCoV-D from Zydus Cadila and finally Biological E Ltd is developing with Baylor College of Medicine and Dynavax Technologies Corp.
Serum’s CEO said on Friday that the AstraZeneca vaccine could be delivered to Indian healthcare workers and the elderly in January.
India recorded 45,209 new infections on Sunday, bringing the total to 9.09 million, behind only the United States. Deaths rose by 501 to 133,227, and Delhi recorded the highest number of daily deaths in the country in recent days.