Seeking to end the controversy over a possible hurried attempt at developing an indigenous vaccine against the novel coronavirus, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), on July 5, said it had not set an August 15 deadline for the drug.
The medical authority said its aim was to complete the vaccine’s clinical trials as soon as possible, similar to candidates in other countries, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
On July 2, ICMR’s Director General Balram Bhargava wrote to Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director Krishna M Ella and executive director V Krishna Mohan, asking them to “fast track" clinical trials of vaccine candidate Covaxin.
ICMR and Bharat Biotech, a private pharmaceutical company, said that they had “envisaged to launch the vaccine for public health use latest by August 15, 2020. ICMR’s National Institute of Virology and Bharat Biotech are jointly developing a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.