By Priyanka Sharma
New Delhi [India], August 4 (ANI): While as many as 141 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are being studied by the scientists across the globe, India has three vaccine candidates which are in different phases of the clinical study, top ICMR scientist (Prof) Balram Bhargava informed on Tuesday.
Informing on the update related to the COVID-19 vaccine, (Prof) Dr Bhargava said that there is no specific drug and vaccine available yet for the coronavirus.
"However, we have about 141 vaccine candidates that are being studied around the world, but 26 of them are in a different phase of clinical trials. The need for a vaccine is both great and urgent. But, there is a dilemma. The COVID-19 pandemic is growing rapidly and to develop a vaccine it takes time not only in terms of science aspect but also in terms of socio-cultural and regulatory aspects," he said.
"So at the present moment, we have three Indian vaccine candidates which are in different phases of a clinical study. Studies for Phase 1 and 2 are to determine the safety and very early efficacy."
The first is--inactivated virus vaccine which is the Bharat Biotech Vaccine being developed in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The vaccine has completed its phase-1 study on 11 sites and started its phase-2 clinical trial, he said.
Similarly, the second is a DNA vaccine of pharma giant called Zydus Cadila. It has completed the phase 1 study in India and has begun phase 2 study at 11 sites and progressing well.
"The third is a recombinant oxford university vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India got approval from DCGI to conduct phase 2 and 3 clinical study in the nation. The clinical studies will start at 17 sites within this week."
"It is important to look that--once we have safe and effective vaccines we really need to worry for four vital points. (i) priority and fair distribution of the vaccine, (ii) to look out logistic and roll out in a cold chain, (iii) stockpiling, (iv) is the training of people who are to be given this vaccine although India has been rolling other vaccines for many years and has the know and calibre for this."
"Till such, safe and effective vaccine become available and even after, sustained behavioural change, wearing a mask, proper hand hygiene, physical distancing is the probably best vaccine available and even after. So we have to continue these measures," said Dr Bhargava. (ANI)