New Delhi: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed on Tuesday that one of the three COVID-19 vaccine candidates would enter the third phase of the pre-clinical human trial by Wednesday. Dr V.K. Paul, head of the national task force on COVID-19 informed about the development during a weekly press briefing.
The ministry officials said that the vaccine candidate entering the third phase has yielded encouraging results in the initial phases of its trial. Paul added that the other two vaccines are currently in phase-I or II of their pre-clinical trials. However, they did not reveal the names of the vaccines while sharing the status of their testing phase.
While the officials did not reveal the names of the vaccine candidates while speaking about their testing phase, it could be gathered that the vaccine entering the third phase is Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, jointly developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
India has currently three vaccine candidates for COVID-19.
ChAdOx1, developed by Oxford University and manufactured jointly by the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune and AstraZeneca, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, jointly developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the third is ZycovD by Zydus Cadila.
The SII stated on Monday that it would start phase-2 trial of its COVID-19 vaccine this week. It added that it has shortlisted 10 centres across India to host phases-2 and 3 for human clinical trials. Meanwhile, Zydus Cadila administered the second dose of its COVID-19 vaccine a few days ago.
The developments on the vaccine came a day after the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration met five domestic COVID vaccine manufacturers to review the clinical trial stages of these vaccine candidates. The manufacturers included two whose products are not yet in the clinical trial stage in India.
Zydus Cadila had stated in the review meeting that it may be able to launch the vaccine by next year.