Centre clears air on Covid vaccine trial, launch


The Centre has cleared the air on reports of India’s Covid-19 vaccine trial and launch by 15 August. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said: “We are the secondlargest country in the world in terms of population and despite having such a large population, we have done a satisfactory job in managing the corona crisis. The number of tests has increased, on an average, we are testing more than 2.6 lakh samples per day. We hope to see a further rise by the use of the Antigen test. Recently, a claim was made regarding the coronavirus vaccine. The claim was that the trial of the vaccine will start on 7 August in India and it will be launched by 15 August. On this claim, the Ministry of Health has reported that the trial of the vaccine has not started yet; however, the sites where the trial of the vaccine is to be held have been selected. The trial is also expected to start soon.”

 In response to a question on the veracity of the vaccine claim, Rajesh Bhushan, OSD, Ministry of Health, said, “At present, there are more than 100 vaccine candidates all over the world, which are at different stages of trial. It is gratifying for India that there are two such vaccine candidates, who are completely indigenous. One is the vaccine of Bharat Biotech International Limited and the other is the vaccine of Cadila Healthcare. Bharat Biotech International Limited is developing the vaccine in collaboration with ICMR.”

Bhushan further said, “Both these vaccines have completed animal toxicity studies. These studies were conducted on rats, guinea pigs and rabbits. Data from both these studies have been shared with the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). Only after this stage have both been allowed for a clinical trial of Phase-I. It has also been decided where the trial of Phase-1 and Phase-2 will take place.”