Covid-19 vaccine updates: India not to fix benchmark in selecting potential candidate
Pharmaceutical companies in India and around the world are putting in great efforts to treat the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) which has infected more than 22 million people so far. According to Union health ministry update, India on Thursday recorded 69,652 fresh Covid-19 cases which pushed the tally to above 2.8 million.
Many scientific studies are also being done as part of the efforts to find treatments and vaccines for Covid-19, while a total of 26 vaccine candidates are being developed, according to the World Health Organisation.
A top ICMR official told a parliamentary panel on Wednesday that phase-two clinical trial of two indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine candidates have almost been completed and emergency authorisation of a vaccine could be considered if the Centre decides so.
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Here are all the latest updates on Covid-19 vaccine in India and recent developments:
•India is not planning to follow a preset benchmark for selecting a Covid-19 vaccine and will explore all available options for mass immunization against the contagion. “When we will have a vaccine ready, we will look at all parameters in a balanced manner, how effective it is, what is the cost, ease of administration, besides other factors,” said Dr V.K. Paul, NITI Aayog member (health), and the chairman of the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration.
•Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate could be the first to be available in India if it gets the required clearances by the end of this year. The Serum Institute of India (SII) has already received a nod from India’s top drug regulatory body for conducting phase-II and III clinical trials on the vaccine.
•Bangladesh will be a priority recipient for the Covid-19 vaccine developed in India, according to foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla. “For us, Bangladesh is always a priority country,” Shringla who is on a two-day visit here quoted by local media as telling reporters here on Wednesday on being asked about the vaccines.
•According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), three Indian vaccines are in different phases of clinical testing at present. Two of these vaccines - Bharat Biotech vaccine and DNA vaccine of Zydus Cadila have completed phase 1 and will begin phase 2 clinical trials, said the ICMR.
•Testing for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Delhi has become heavily reliant on antigen tests, which experts say are not as reliable as RT-PCR tests and end up skewing crucial data that could hamper the city’s fight to contain the virus. At least seven of every 10 tests conducted is an antigen test.