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The Indian government on Monday reviewed the progress of the covid vaccines undergoing clinical trials in the country. The domestic pharma giants presented the current status of various candidate vaccines for COVID-19 to the central government. The National Expert Group on Covid-19 Vaccine Administration on Monday met leading domestic vaccine manufacturers: Serum Institute of India, Pune; Bharat Biotech, Hyderabad; Zydus Cadila, Ahmedabad; Gennova Biopharmaceuticals, Pune; and Biological E, Hyderabad.

The meeting was mutually beneficial and productive, the health ministry said.

“It provided the National Expert Group with inputs about the present stage of various candidate vaccines being developed by the indigenous manufacturers as well as their expectations from the Union government.”

Three Covid vaccine candidates in India are in different phases of clinical study.

The first is the inactivated virus vaccine which is the Bharat Biotech Vaccine being developed in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Similarly, the second is the DNA vaccine of pharma giant Zydus Cadila.

The third, is a recombinant Oxford University vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII) which got approval from DCGI to conduct phase 2, 3 clinical study in the nation.

The central government has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Dr VK Paul, member (health) at Niti Aayog, on covid vaccine administration.

The terms of reference of this expert committee are to streamline suitable vaccine selection, how procurement of vaccine will be done, how vaccine would be delivered, prioritising groups to whom vaccine has to be administered.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech on Saturday said India has prepared a roadmap to ensure that a COVID-19 vaccine reaches everyone in the shortest possible time.

He said three vaccine candidates are in different stages of trials in the country.

The prime minister said whenever there is talk of COVID-19, the question that comes to everyone’s mind is – when will a vaccine be ready.

“I want to tell people, the talent of our scientists is like that of ‘rishi munis’ and they are working very hard in laboratories. Three vaccines are in various stages of testing. When scientists will give us the green signal, it will be produced on a mass scale and all preparations have been made for it,” PM Modi said in address. (With Agency Inputs)

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