Expecting Covid-19 Vaccine in India by Early Next Year From More Than One Source: Health Minister
File photo of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan. (Photo: PTI)
Earlier, Dr Vardhan had said the Centre plans to receive and utilise 400-500 million Covid-19 vaccine doses and that of the 1.3 billion population, 20-25 crore people would be getting the first shot by July 2021.
- Last Updated: October 19, 2020, 16:53 IST
- FOLLOW US ON:
A vaccine against Covid-19 will likely be available in India by early next year and there is a possibility that the shots may come from more than one source, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Tuesday. "We're expecting that early next year we should have vaccine in the country from maybe more than one source. Our expert groups are formulating strategies to plan on how to roll out the distribution of the vaccine in the country," the Union Health Minister said during a meeting of the Group of Ministers.
Currently, four Covid-19 vaccines are in advanced stages of pre-clinical trials in India.
Earlier, detailing the roadmap on vaccine procurement and distribution, Dr Vardhan laid out the government’s priority during the fourth edition of ‘Sunday Samvaad’ and said the Centre plans to receive and utilise 400-500 million Covid-19 vaccine doses and that of the 1.3 billion population, 20-25 crore people would be getting the first shot by July 2021.
Dr Harsh Vardhan also said all three vaccines in India undergoing trials have proven to be safe, immunogenic and efficacious in clinical trials outside India and need to undergo bridging studies to prove their safety and immunogenicity in the Indian population as well although these studies can be conducted with much smaller sample size and end quickly.
It is desirable to have a single-dose vaccine, he said. However, it is often difficult to achieve desired levels of immune protection using a single dose. He added that two-dose vaccines are suitable for attaining the desired immunogenicity as the first dose gives some immune protection, and the second dose augments it further.
On Sunday, in a significant announcement, the Union Health Minister said that Covid-19 vaccines currently under trial in India will be administered in two or three doses. The vaccine being developed by the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech requires two doses while the Zydus Cadila Healthcare vaccine requires three doses. For other vaccines in clinical stages, the dosing is still being tested, he said.