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30 COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates Under Development: Union Minister Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that once available, the coronavirus vaccine distribution will follow the same route as for the current practice of vaccines distribution under the Universal Immunization Program

30 COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates Under Development: Union Minister Harsh Vardhan
Highlights
  • 3 vaccine candidates in India are in clinical trial stage: Dr. Vardhan
  • Health minister said 4 candidates are in advanced pre-clinical trial stage
  • An expert group is looking into COVID-19 vaccine distribution: Dr. Vardhan

New Delhi: Nearly 30 candidates for the COVID-19 vaccine are under development across the country, by industry and academia, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Friday (September 18). “Nationally, nearly 30 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are under development, by both industry and academia. These vaccines are in different stages of pre-clinical and clinical development of which three candidates are in the advanced stage of Phase I/II/III trials and four are in advanced pre-clinical development stage. Support is also being extended for the development of vaccine-associated research resources, the establishment of clinical trial sites, and notifying enabling regulatory guidelines,” Dr. Vardhan said in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

Also Read: Coronavirus Explained: What Are The Phases In The Clinical Trials Of The COVID-19 Vaccine?

A high-level expert group is looking into matters related to vaccine distribution and immunization. The distribution and immunization of the coronavirus vaccine are subject to availability, he added.

Dr. Vardhan further said once available, the coronavirus vaccine distribution will follow the same route as for the current practice of vaccines distribution under the Universal Immunization Program (UIP).

As per an official release of the Ministry of Science and Technology, five National COVID-19 bio-repositories have been established by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT).

This is a part of the network of 16 COVID-19 biorepositories established in the country by the Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. The repositories are collecting clinical and viral samples. So far, 44,452 clinical samples and 17 viral isolates have been collected which are accessible to researchers and industry for developing diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, the release said.

The pan India 1,000 SARS-CoV-2 RNA Genome Sequencing has been successfully completed and was announced on August 1, 2020, by the Department of Biotechnology.

This was led by the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG-Kalyani), West Bengal, an Autonomous Institute of Department of Biotechnology, along with five other National clusters; clinical organizations and other hospitals, the release said.

These sequences have been uploaded on Global Initiative on Sharing All India Influenza Data (GISAID) for use by researchers across the globe. These sequences have been uploaded under the ‘Pan India 1000 SARS-CoV-2 RNA Genome Sequencing Consortium’. These are now available for use by researchers, it said.

Also Read: Council Of Scientific And Industrial Research Collaborates With Aurobindo Pharma To Develop COVID-19 Vaccines

Dr. Vardhan also said in the Lok Sabha during the discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic,

145 vaccine candidates across the world are under pre-clinical evaluation, around 35 under clinical trials. In India, we gave all support to 30 vaccine candidates -3 of these are in advanced trials of phases 1, 2, and 3. Over 4 in advanced stages of the pre-clinical trial.

The Minister said that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare received Rs 893.93 crores from PM-CARES Fund for 50,000 made in India ventilators.

On January 30, World Health Organisation (WHO) warned the world about such disease. But we had started work from January 8. By January 17, we had issued a detailed health advisory and started point of entry surveillance and community surveillance. On January 30, when the first case in India was reported, authorities did 162 contact tracing, he said.

Even today, 40 lakh people were kept under community surveillance. Contract tracing of more than 1 crore people was done. 15 lakh people were screened at airports. When the first case in Nepal was reported, 16 lakh people were screened on the border. From March 16 to March 23, more than half of the states have imposed partial or complete lockdown, he added.

To handle pandemic like this in the future, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that work has started under Atmanirbhar Swasthya Bharat in which Rs 65,000 crore package has been allocated.

Also Read: Russia To Supply 100 Million Doses Of COVID-19 Vaccine To India’s Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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