As we all know, the leaders, scientists, and doctors across the world are scrambling to find a cure against the coronavirus. The front runners in this race against time to develop a vaccine are Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax, and Oxford University. Talking about India, the country has two indigenous coronavirus vaccines; Covaxin and ZyCoV-D at several stages of human trials. As the vaccines are at several stages of human trials, it can take about six to nine months until the vaccine is released for commercial use. However, if the government wants to speed things up, it can declare an emergency authorization of the vaccines.
According to a top ICMR official, the Phase-II of human trials for the indigenous coronavirus vaccines, Covaxin and ZyCoV-D has concluded. And if the center decides to release the vaccines early in the market, then it can declare an emergency authorization of the same. The Director-General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr. Balram Bharagava, informed the members of the parliamentary standing committee on home affairs that the coronavirus vaccine candidates, Covaxin and ZyCoV-D developed by Bharat Biotech, Zydus Cadila, and the Serum Institute of India, are at different stages of the human trials. The vaccine candidates co-developed by Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila are near the completion of Phase-II of the human trials.
According to reports, the vaccine candidate being developed by the Serum Institute of India and Oxford University will enter the Phase-II of human trials this weekend. For the purpose of the trials, about 1700 patients have volunteered across 17 centers in the country. In his Independence speech at Red Fort, the honorable Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, said that the country will begin the mass production of the vaccines as soon as the center receives a green signal from the developers. Currently, Russia is the only country in the world to have developed a coronavirus vaccine named Sputnik-V after a successful clinical trial that began on June 17 and consisted of only 76 volunteers.
The world needs to understand that developing a vaccine against the virus is not a race. Hence, instead of focussing on who releases the vaccine first, countries need to focus upon developing a safe and effective vaccine. Therefore, they must follow all the essential guidelines of WHO in terms of vaccine development and only then take further steps to continue mass production.