New Delhi: Three COVID-19 vaccines are at a clinical trial stage in the country and two indigenous vaccine candidates have completed phase one trial, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) DG Dr Balram Bhargava said on Tuesday.
"Three vaccines are at the clinical trial stage in India. Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech have completed phase-I trials. Results are being analysed. They have started recruitment for the second phase," Dr Bhargava said at a press conference here. He was replying to a question on the status of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
"Serum Institute of India (SII) has completed phase II-B3 trials. They took seven days break and will start phase-III trial (with 1,500 patients at 14 locations) after clearances," he added.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had asked SII to suspend any new recruitment in phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine till further orders after reports from AstraZeneca that it had paused the ongoing trial of nCoV19 coronavirus vaccine (recombinant) as a volunteer developed an unexplained illness.
AstraZeneca, which has partnered with Oxford University for development of the vaccine, has since resumed trials in UK.
There is yet no specific drug and vaccine available yet for coronavirus. Dr Bhargava had said that four factors would need to be considered once India has a safe and effective vaccine against coronavirus - priority and fair distribution of the vaccine, logistics and roll out in a cold chain, stockpiling and training of people who are to be given this vaccine.
He said India has been rolling out other vaccines for many years and has the requisite know-how.
Experts say a sustained behavioural change is required at least till there is a safe and effective vaccine. This includes wearing a mask, proper hand hygiene and physical distancing.
India's COVID-19 case count crossed the 49-lakh mark on Tuesday. A total of 49,30,237 cases have been reported in the country including 9,90,061 active cases, 38,59,400 cured/discharged/migrated patients and 80,776 deaths.