In the development related to the COVID-19 vaccine across the world, only three vaccine candidates are in phase III clinical trials across the globe. These three coronavirus vaccine candidates are from the USA, UK (University of Oxford’s vaccine) and China, informed the official from the Union Health Ministry on Thursday.
While there are 24 COVID-19 vaccine candidates in clinical evaluation, 141 vaccine candidates are in pre-clinical evaluation stage across the world, said the official.

“Once, the phase III clinical trial is done, then they can take concerned regulator’s permissions and proceed for manufacturing the vaccine. These three vaccine candidates who are in phase II are from the USA, UK (University of Oxford’s vaccine) and China,” Rajesh Bhushan, Officer on Special Duty at the health ministry.

WHO in its bulletin issued on July 24 stated that 24 vaccine candidates are in the stage of clinical evaluation across the globe and 141 vaccine candidates are in the pre-clinical evaluation stage.

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“This means that there are 24 vaccine candidates in the clinical trial stage are in phase I, II or III done on human volunteers at multi-centric sites. While 141 vaccine candidates are in research or animal studies are being done under and these are under pre-clinical evaluation stage,” said Rajesh Bhushan, Officer on Special Duty at the health ministry.

In the Indian scenario, there are two indigenously developed vaccines. “Clinical trials for phase I, II of both the vaccine candidates have started. At present, the clinical trial is being done on 1,150 subjects for one of the vaccine candidate at eight sites. At least 1,000 subjects have participated for a clinical trial for another indigenously developed vaccine candidate,” Bhushan said.

“As India is a hub of vaccine manufacturing and hence, India would play a key role. When it comes to vaccine distribution can be broadly done in two ways. First, international agencies should develop a system to manufacture and distribute the vaccine. Second, individual countries can negotiate to those people whose vaccine gets successful,” he said.

The official further informed that WHO has created a mechanism called–Access to COVID19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator–with an idea that how vaccines, diagnostic kits and medicines can be provided to countries across the world.

“Under ACT, a facility called–COVAX has been created by WHO. This is only dedicated to vaccines. In this facility apart from WHO, GAVI (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation) and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) are part of it and India plays a leading role in both the organizations. So this facility will pool the requirement of vaccine for in all the member countries.

So far, India has not signed any agreement with the pharma companies manufacturing vaccines, Bhushan said.

“There are multiple stakeholders with whom the government is doing a discussion on how the vaccine would be distributed or administered to the masses,” said the official.

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