About 18-19 vaccine candidates against COVID-19 in pipeline: Harsh Vardhan

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New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) About 18-19 vaccine candidates against COVID-19 are in the pipeline and in different clinical trial stages, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday.

Addressing the media, Vardhan said that in the next 2-3 weeks, vaccinations against COVID-19 will be started for people above 50 years of age.

'About 18-20 vaccine candidates against COVID-19 are in the pipeline and are in preclinical, clinical and advanced stages,' Vardhan said.

He further said that India will be supplying vaccines to 20-25 other countries.

Dispelling rumours surrounding the vaccines, Vardhan said the vaccines in the public domain are safe and effective.

He said no new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in 188 districts of the country in the last 7 days, while no new cases have been reported in 21 districts in 21 days.

Vardhan further urged people to keep following COVID appropriate behaviour.

'It is crucial that people continue to follow COVID appropriate behaviour which I call social vaccine, along with real vaccines,' he said.

India has approved two vaccines -- Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Covishield from the Oxford/AstraZeneca stable being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India -- for emergency use in the country. PTI UZM AAR AAR