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Opinion

India may be the only country with 4 vaccines in the pipeline, says Prakash Javadekar

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As all states and territories in the union conducted vaccine testing, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Saturday that India is perhaps the only country that is preparing with four vaccines against Covid-19. The UK has approved the Pfizer and Astrazeneca vaccine. The United States has approved the emergency use of Pfizer. But India, as it already has three applications, is likely to receive more than one vaccine for emergency use, the minister hinted.

Currently, six Covid-19 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in India, including pioneering Covishield and Covaxin. Covishield is the Oxford vaccine developed by Astrazeneca and the Serum Institute of India in Pune. Covaxin is the indigenous one being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council for Medical Research.

Apart from these two, there are ZyCOV-D which is being developed by Cadila Healthcare Ltd in Ahmedabad in collaboration with the Center’s Department of Biotechnology, and NVX-CoV2373, which is being developed by the Serum Institute in collaboration with Novavax.

There are two other vaccines, one manufactured by Biological E Ltd, Hyderabad, in collaboration with MIT, USA, and the other developed by Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd, based in Pune, in collaboration with HDT, USA.

Bharat Biotech International Ltd is developing another vaccine in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University, USA, which is in the preclinical stages. Dr. Reddy’s lab is also conducting the Russian Sputnik V test.

Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India and Pfizer (did not have any trials in India) applied to the drug controller for an emergency use authorization. Friday’s expert panel has recommended the Oxford Serum vaccine.

Bharat Biotech has been asked to accelerate the recruitment of volunteers for the ongoing phase 3 clinical trial. You have also been asked to carry out an interim efficacy review to consider emergency use.

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