India May be Only Country Almost Ready with 4 Covid-19 Vaccines, Says Prakash Javadekar

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As the Drugs Controller General of India's (DCGI) approval is awaited for the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech Covid-19 vaccines, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said on Saturday that India may be the only country in the world which is almost ready with four vaccines.

With three applicants seeking emergency use authorisation in the country, India is likely to have multiple shots ready for rollout, the minister was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. In comparison, the United Kingdom so far has approved only the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs, while the United States has given the nod to only the Pfizer vaccine.

Clinical trials for six vaccines are underway in India at present. These include Covishield which is the Oxford vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca and Serum Institute of India and Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Others being developed in India are: ZyCOV-D by Cadila Healthcare Ltd in collaboration with the Centre’s Department of Biotechnology; NVX-CoV2373 by Serum Institute in collaboration with Novavax; Biological E Ltd in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd in collaboration with HDT Bio, US; Bharat Biotech International Ltd in collaboration with Thomas Jefferson University, US; Russia’s Sputnik V with Dr Reddy's.

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Saturday recommended that Bharat Biotech's Covaxin be given restricted emergency use. On Friday, the SEC made the same recommendation for the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot.