Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 10
India is eyeing affordable Covid-19 vaccines with eight under production in the country. Besides two leading vaccine candidates — Serum Institute’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech-ICMR’s Covaxin, six more vaccines are in advanced stages of development.
Cadila Healthcare Ahmedabad’s ZyCoV-D, an indigenous DNA vaccine, is currently in phase 2 trials, while Sputnik-V, the Russian candidate which has collaborated with Hyderabad-based Dr Reddy’s for India trials, has completed phase 2 trials and will start late stage phase 3 tests next week.
New cases stay under 40K
New cases remained below 40,000 for the 11th day in a row. Daily deaths remained below 500 for the fifth day. Haryana (26) and Punjab (16) are among the 10 states with 78% of the 412 deaths that have occurred in a day.
Serum Institute is involved in the production of yet another Covid vaccine in collaboration with US firm Novavax.
Phase 3 trials of the Novavax-Serum Institute product are currently under consideration of the national drug regulator. Another Hyderabad-based company, Biological E, is working with the MIT, US, on a recombinant protein antigen-based vaccine with pre-clinical trials (animal toxicity studies) over and phase 1 and 2 combined human trials underway.
Government sources said indigenous production would help the country roll out affordable Covid vaccines with inoculation drive expected to last for well over a year.
Current global frontrunner vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna are messenger RNA vaccines which are expensive and require storage at lower temperatures.