Oxford candidate the first Covid vaccine likely to be available in India...

Oxford candidate the first Covid vaccine likely to be available in India by end of year


NEW DELHI: While locally developed Covid-19 vaccines are being closely monitored, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is the most likely candidate to be available in India by the end of 2020, according to officials.

It is believed that the two local candidates — which are in early stages of human trials — will enter the market with a lag of a few weeks as compared to the Oxford candidate, ToI has reported.

Pune-based Serum Institute is the manufacturing partner of British pharma giant AstraZeneca for the vaccine in India. Serum, being an Indian manufacturing and distribution partner for the Oxford candidate with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, is being looked at favourably compared to other vaccines being developed outside India.

“If the vaccine gets the nod, and given that it is being produced in India, it makes sense to use it,” TOI said quoting an official source.

Read More: India’s Covid-19 vaccine plan on track, India has a huge capacity: Panel led by Niti Aayog

Serum has started advanced phases of human trials — namely Phase 2 and 3 — in India with 1,600 people above the age of 18 years in 17 sites across the country, which is the largest trial so far in the country. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin developed with ICMR and Zydus Cadila’s Zycov D are both in early Phase 1 and 2 with 1,000-1,100 participants across five to eight sites.

The Oxford candidate has completed early Phase 1 and 2 of human trials in the UK and has shown positive results.

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