India can expect a COVID-19 vaccine in a couple of months, says Dr Harsh Vardhan
In a review meeting held earlier this year, the Union Health Minister assured the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine by early 2021
With new breakthroughs each day, India can expect a vaccine against COVID-19 in the next couple of months, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, expressing confidence in Indian scientists today at a webinar organised by the FICCI FLO today.
Speaking at the webinar on the theme of ‘The Shifting Healthcare Paradigm During and Post-Covid,’ he said, “Indian scientists are well ahead of many others in the world & I can confidently say that in the next couple of months we can deliver a vaccine to India.”
Indian scientists are well ahead of many others in the world & I can confidently say that in the next couple of months we can deliver a vaccine to India: @drharshvardhan, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare at a webinar on Shifting Healthcare Paradigm during & post-COVID. pic.twitter.com/lg1lTq3gAg— FICCI (@ficci_india) November 19, 2020
It is estimated that 400-500 million doses will be made available for 25-30 crore people by July-August, he said at the webinar. The ones who will be prioritised include ‘corona warriors’ and people above the 65 years of age.
“It is natural the vaccine distribution would have to be prioritised. As you know the healthcare workers who are corona warriors they will be prioritised, then people who are above 65 years of age they have been prioritised, then those from 50-65 years of age have been prioritised,” the minister said.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, in a review meeting held earlier this year, had assured the availability of a COVID-19 vaccine by early 2021.
The Union Health Minister in a recent meeting with health officials said that the government is committed to vaccinating over 20 crore citizens including the frontline healthcare workers, and those with comorbidities by the middle of next year.
“We are committed to vaccinating 20-25 crore citizens including the frontline healthcare workers, those with comorbidities, and those in a certain age group,” he had said in a review meeting.
The Minister noted that at least four vaccine candidates are in the advanced trials of manufacturing in India. He said that the government is planning a detailed strategy to vaccinate the majority of the population.
There are at least four vaccine candidates in India that are in the race of developing an effective treatment against COVID-19.
Recently, Hyderabad-based Biological E. Ltd started the phase-1 and phase-2 human trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate jointly with the United States based Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and Dynavax Technologies Corp DVAX.O. The pharmaceutical company expects the results by February.
Apart from it, Covaxin, being developed by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is currently under the phase-3 trials. The phase-3 clinical trials of the vaccine involve around 26,000 volunteers in the largest clinical trial in India for the COVID-19.
Zycov-D being indigenously developed by Cadila is also in the race for an effective vaccine against COVID-19.
However, the Covishield vaccine also known as the Oxford vaccine being jointly produced by the British Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) is at the most advanced stage of trials in India.