As all states and union territories conducted dry run for vaccines, Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said India is perhaps the only country which is getting ready with four vaccines against Covid-19. The United Kingdom has given the nod to 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 get more than one vaccine for emergency use, the minister implied.
At present, six Covid-19 vaccines are undergoing clinical trials in India, including the frontrunners Covishield and Covaxin. Covishield is the Oxford vaccine developed by Astrazeneca and Pune’s Serum Institute of India. Covaxin is the indigenous one being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Apart from these two, there are ZyCOV-D being developed by Cadila Healthcare Ltd in Ahmedabad in collaboration with the Centre’s Department of Biotechnology, and NVX-CoV2373, which is being developed by Serum Institute in collaboration with Novavax.
There are two other vaccines, one manufactured by Biological E Ltd, Hyderabad, in collaboration with MIT, US and the other one developed by Pune-based Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd in collaboration with HDT, US.
Another vaccine is being developed by Bharat Biotech International Ltd in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University, US, which is at the pre-clinical stages. The trial of Russia’s Sputnik V is also going on by Dr Reddy’s Lab.
Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India and Pfizer (it had no trial in India) applied to the drug controller for emergency-use authorisation. The expert panel on Friday has given recommendation to Serum’s Oxford vaccine.
Bharat Biotech has been asked to expedite volunteer recruitment for the ongoing phase 3 clinical trial. It has also been asked to conduct interim efficacy analysis for consideration for emergency use.