In a big fillip to the nation's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan yesterday (15 February) said that India may approve more vaccine candidates for emergency use in the next few months, reports Hindustan Times.
Dr Vardhan highlighted that there are 18-19 COVID-19 vaccines in various stages of development in the nation.
The Health Minister however also added that it would not be appropriate for him to say which vaccine will get emergency use approval and how much time it would take as the said approval is not given by either him or the other officials who were sharing the dais with him during the press conference.
Dr Vardhan also added that the sale of COVID-19 vaccines may not be allowed in the open markets as long as they only have an emergency use authorisation. As of now, no private sales of vaccines are allowed in India.
“The research for other Covid-19 vaccine candidates is already there. Department of biotechnology has been given specifically ₹900 crore to help such candidates, who have a potential...,” the Health Minister was quoted as saying.
As of now, only two vaccines have been accorded emergency use authorisation in India, Covishield and Covaxin.
The Covishield has developed by pharmaceutical major AstraZeneca and University of Oxford and is being manufactured by Pune based Serum Institute of India.
Meanwhile, Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech in close collaboration with Pune based National Institute of Virology and the Indian Council for Medical Research.
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