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Covid vaccine in India: Oxfords emergency authorisation, 1st mRNA vaccine trial to start; key updates – Livemint

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In India, the Union Health Ministry has said that a vaccine against the novel coronavirus is expected to be available in a few weeks’ time.

The country is considering Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine after the US pharmaceutical giant sought emergency use authorisation here. India is also actively considering two other vaccine candidates — one being developed by the Serum Institute of India or SII in partnership with AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the second one by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech.

Both SII and Bharat Biotech are currently conducting Phase 3 trials of their respective vaccine candidates in the country.

The applications of Pfizer, SII, and Bharat Biotech are being reviewed by the subject expert committee (SEC) on Covid-19 at the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

Here are the latest updates on Covid-19 vaccines in India:

1) Pfizer – The Indian arm of the US drug firm had sought an emergency use approval for its Covid-19 vaccine from the central drug regulator days back after the firm secured such clearance in Britain and Bahrain. The drug giant, in its application, had sought permission to import the vaccine for sale and distribution in India.

Efficacy rate: 95%

2) SII’s Covishield – Pune-based Serum Institute of India has already applied for emergency use authorisation of the vaccine, dubbed as Covishield, in India. SII chief Adar Poonawalla recently said that the company plans to make up to 10 crore doses of Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine each month, starting next year.

Efficacy rate: 60-70%

3) Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin – The Hyderabad-based company, earlier this month, sought emergency use approval from the Drug Controller General of India for its indigenously made Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin. Covaxin is being indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Efficacy rate: 60%

4) India’s first mRNA vaccine – A vaccine being developed by the Gennova firm in Pune has become India’s first homemade mRNA candidate to get permission for the human clinical trial. “HGCO19 (the official name of the vaccine) is stable at 2-8 degrees Celsius for two months,” the government had said in an official statement.

5) Zydus Cadila – Zydus Cadila had, earlier this month, received approval from the DCGI to start phase 3 clinical trials with its biological therapy PegiHep in Covid-19 patients. The company had completed phase 2 clinical trials with PegiHep last month.

6) Sputnik V – India has purchased 100 million doses of Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Sputnik V vaccine has been developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology and Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Sputnik LLC are jointly conducting the human trials in India.

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