Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has said that the government will be able to vaccinate people above 50 years of age in March. (ANI Photo)
Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has said that the government will be able to vaccinate people above 50 years of age in March. (ANI Photo)

18-19 Covid-19 vaccine candidates in pipeline, says Harsh Vardhan

The minister also informed that 80-85% of frontline workers have been inoculated against the coronavirus disease so far even as an inoculation drive is ongoing across the country.
By hindustantimes.com | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 15, 2021 06:04 PM IST

Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday at least 18-19 vaccine candidates against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) are in the pipeline and in different stages of the clinical trial as he reiterated that the shots which are in the public domain are safe and effective. Vardhan also said the government will be able to vaccinate people above 50 years of age in the next two to three weeks amid an ongoing inoculation drive.

"About 18-20 vaccine candidates against Covid-19 are in the pipeline and are in preclinical, clinical and advanced stages," Vardhan said during a press briefing.

The minister also informed that 80-85% of frontline workers have been inoculated against the coronavirus disease so far even as an inoculation drive is ongoing across the country. India has approved Covaxin, developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from the Oxford University-AstraZeneca being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, for emergency use in the country. He added that India will be supplying Covid-19 vaccines to 20-25 other countries.

Also read | IIT Bombay claims Covid-19 survives longer on glass, plastic than cloth or paper

He also said that 188 districts across the country have not reported new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the last seven days and no new cases have been reported in 21 districts in 21 days. “It is crucial that people continue to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour which I had called a social vaccine, along with real vaccine,” Vardhan also said during the briefing.

India's tally has risen to 10,916,589 with 11,649 new infections and 90 fatalities between Sunday and Monday morning, the health ministry’s updated shows. The death toll increased to 155,732 and there are 139,637 active cases of coronavirus infections in the country, according to the data updated at 8am. The number of people who have recovered from the viral disease surged to 10,621,220, which has pushed the recovery rate to 97.29%.

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