Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told Rajya Sabha on Thursday that there is a likelihood of a vaccine for COVID-19 to be out by early next year and that the administration is aiming to bring down India’s mortality rate for the coronavirus to less than 1% from the current 1.64%.

It is domineering to know that two indigenous vaccines developed by ydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech are currently undergoing clinical trials with both successfully completing phase 1 testing. Meanwhile, the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has allowed the Serum Institute of India (SII) to restart its phase two and three clinical trials for the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Harsh Vardhan stated that the Government is taking full protections in steering the human trials of the vaccine and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 under the Chairmanship of VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog is drawing up a detailed strategy on how to vaccinate majority of the population.

Further, he said that the Government is considering spare authorization of COVID-19 vaccination especially in the case of senior citizens & people working in high-risk settings. “This shall be done after a consensus has been reached”, he said.

Notably, India is actively associating with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and trials at different phases are ongoing with respect to several vaccines in Indian laboratories (private or public) and hospitals.

We just hope that the vaccine for COVID does not get delayed any further.

 


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Joydev Mishra

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