COVID Vaccine to Be Available by Start of Next Year: Harsh Vardhan

Meanwhile, two indigenous vaccines by Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech have completed phase 1.

2 min read
File image of Union Health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday, 17 September, said that the coronavirus vaccine will be made available in the country by the start of next year, IANS reported. The remarks come at a time when India is recording more than 50 lakh cases and people are awaiting the vaccine.

“Just like other countries, India is also making efforts. Three vaccines candidates are in different phases. Under Prime Minister’s guidance, an expert group is looking at it and there is advanced planning in place. We are hopeful that by the start of next year a vaccine will be available in India.”
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, in Rajya Sabha

Two indigenous vaccines by Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech have completed phase 1. Serum Institute of India (SII) has again commenced the trials after getting clearance from the Drug Controller General of India.


India is the manufacturing partner of the vaccine candidate named Covishield, developed jointly by the University of Oxford's Jenner Institute's and AstraZeneca. The Pune-based firm, SII, is looking after the trials at 17 trial sites across India.

Besides this, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Limited, a global pharmaceutical company headquartered out of India, have agreed to cooperate on clinical trials and distribution of Sputnik V vaccine in India.

However, Vardhan said that till a vaccine is available, masks and social distancing are a social vaccine, according to Firstpost.

Speaking in the Upper House on Thursday, the Union Health Minister said that India's COVID-19 mortality rate at 1.64 percent is lowest in the world, adding that was trying to bring it down to less than 1 percent. He also said India's recovery rate of 78-79 percent is one of the highest in the world, according to Livemint.

He said though total cases may have crossed 50 million, but active cases are less than 20 percent.

He also pointed out that COVID-19 deaths in India are less than many nations in Europe, adding the government was determined to cross the US in testing rate as well.

(With inputs from Firstpost, Livemint)

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