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COVAXIN Will Be Available By Year End: Health Minister

Story Highlights

  • The vaccines could be ready to be used by the first quarter of 2021 if successful
  • Currently, three experimental vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tested across the countryWorldwide
  • More than 200 vaccine candidates are being developed to tackle COVID-19, which has no specific treatment at the moment

Mumbai: The whole world and number of scientists are in a race to find a safe vaccine for Coronavirus disease. Meanwhile, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan in an interview with Hindustan Times said that India’s first indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine, COVAXIN, could be available by the end of this year.

In an interview, he said that “Upon completion of the trial, the efficacy of India-made vaccines will be known by the end of the year.” He also said that the Oxford vaccine was already being processed at a parallel end to reduce the time needed to bring it to the market.

In addition to COVAXIN jointly developed by Bharat Biotech and ICMR, the candidate produced by Zydus Cadila ‘ZyCoV-D vaccine and the Serum Institute of India of Oxford-AstraZeneca is being tested nationwide.

According to the minister, Bharat Biotech and the other two candidates of Zydus Cadila will require at least one additional month for production and phased introduction. The Health Minister also said that the vaccines could be ready to be used by the first quarter of 2021 if successful.

Dr. Vardhan told HT that COIVAXIN, an inactivated vaccine produced by the strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus isolated from NIV, Pune, may be available by the end of 2020, stating that ICMR and Bharat Biotech have entered into an agreement. The memorandum had stated that priority would be given to providing vaccines at affordable and discounted rates – the test should prove successful.

Stating that “test-track-treatment” was the government’s important strategy to move forward in the fight against COVID-19, Dr. Vardhan said that India was home to the world’s vaccine manufacturing industrial base, with two-thirds of childhood vaccines being given. 

According to the report, the government is considering an initial order of about 5 million doses of coronavirus vaccine for some groups, such as frontline workers and army personnel.

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