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Four more COVID-19 vaccines in pipeline in India; check details here

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on January 12 that four more coronavirus vaccines are in the pipeline and may get the DGCI nod for emergency use authorization soon.

January 12, 2021 / 05:11 PM IST
Source: Reuters

Source: Reuters

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The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on January 12 that four more coronavirus vaccines are in the pipeline and may get the Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) nod for emergency use authorization soon.

The four other COVID-19 vaccines that are in the pipeline in India are:

Zydus Cadila’s coronavirus vaccine ZyCoV-D which has got the DGCI nod to conduct phase III trials in India.

Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine, which according to Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd, meets the primary endpoint of safety in the phase II clinical trials in India.

Hyderabad-based Biological E (BE) completed the phase I trials of its protein subunit COVID-19 vaccine in December. Phase II trials will likely begin from March 2021.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Pune-based Genova Pharmaceuticals Ltd is working on India’s only messenger RNA based COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The phase I trial of the HGCO19 vaccine is on and the second phase of the trials are expected to begin from March 2021.

The health ministry then went to clarify that Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech will be supplying 16.5 lakh doses of Covaxin free of cost to the government. The company will be charging the government only for the remaining 38.5 lakh doses at Rs 295 per dose. Considering the total procurement is of 55 lakh doses, the price of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin comes down to Rs 206 per dose.

Additionally, the government has also signed a purchase order with SII for 119 lakh doses of Covishield at Rs 200 per dose.

Follow our coverage of the coronavirus crisis here

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