Covid-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin, developed by the Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) in collaboration with the ICMR and the National Institute of Virology (NIV), had recently got the nod for human clinical trials from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI).
Talking about how Covaxin works, the ministry explained, “The Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN uses the virus isolated from an Indian patient by the National Institute of Virology to develop the inactivated virus vaccine.”
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Separately, Zydus, which is part of Cadila Healthcare Ltd, said that it has also received approval from authorities to start human trials for its Covid-19 vaccine contender.
Globally, 11 out of the 140 vaccine candidates have entered the human trial phase.
“With the announcement of Covaxin and ZyCov-D Vaccine, the proverbial silver line in the dark clouds of Covid-19 appears at the horizon,” the ministry of Science and technology said today, adding that the nod given by the authorities for human trials marks the “beginning of the end”.
Underlining India’s role in global efforts to develop the vaccine, the ministry said, “In the past years, India has emerged as one of the significant vaccine manufacturing hubs. Indian manufacturers account for 60 per cent of vaccine supplies made to UNICEF.”
It added that regardless of which nation comes up with the Covid vaccine, they will have to depend on India for its ability for mass production.
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The government also cited two key players that have inked contract with Indian manufacturers for production of Covid vaccines.
“AZD1222 developed by Jenner Institute of University of Oxford and licensed to AstraZeneca; and the MRNA-1273 vaccine developed by Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute have inked an agreement with Indian manufacturers for production of the Covid vaccines,” it said.
Earlier on July 2, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) wrote to 12 trial sites for the Covid-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, stating that all clinical trials need to be completed by August 15.
(With inputs from agencies)