Two indigenous candidate vaccines for COVID-19 have got DCGI clearance to start early phase human trials in the country, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Tuesday. “There are two Indian indigenous candidate vaccines. They have undergone successful toxicity studies in rats, mice and rabbits.
The data was submitted to DCGI following which both these got clearance to start early phase human trials early this month,” said Dr Balram Bhargava, DG-ICMR at a daily press briefing here. “They have got their sites ready and they are doing their clinical study on approximately a thousand volunteers each at different sites,” he added.
Bhargava said that experiments for the two vaccines, among others, are also being done at NIV, Pune and spoke about the various programmes being carried out to develop a vaccine globally.
“Recently, Russia has fast-tracked a vaccine which has been successful in the early phases and they have fast-tracked its development. The whole world has applauded it and congratulated Russia. China has also fast-tracked its vaccine programme and fast-tracked its studies with vaccines. The US has again fast-tracked two of its vaccine candidates and the UK is also looking at how it can fastrack the Oxford vaccine candidate,” Bhargava said.
He added that India supplies over 60 per cent of the vaccines for various diseases to countries around the world and said that it makes India’s role a key one in the race to prepare and supply a COVID-19 vaccine to the world. “India is considered as the pharmacy of the world. 60 per cent of the drugs utilised in the US are of Indian origin. The other fact which is not well known is that 60 percent of vaccines supplied around the world are of Indian origin, so India is perceived and is well known for vaccine supply in the world,” Bhargava said.
“Any vaccine produced in any party part of the world will ultimately have to be scaled up by India or by China. Because these are the two major vaccine producers of the world. Everyone who is trying to prepare a vaccine is in talks with India,” he further said.
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