COVID-19 vaccine ‘Covaxin’ will be at least 60 per cent effective, vaccine developer Bharat Biotech has said.

Sai D Prasad, President of Quality Operations at Bharat Biotech, told India Today that the company is aiming to launch the vaccine in the second quarter of 2021.

Noting that the phase 3 efficacy data of ‘Covaxin’ will be available by the end of quarter 1 of 2021, Prasad said that the chances of the “vaccine being less than 50 per cent effective are remote”.

“The WHO, US FDA [Food and Drug Administration] and even India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) approve a respiratory vaccine if it achieves 50 per cent efficacy. For Covaxin, we aim to achieve at least 60 per cent but, it could also be more,” he told India Today.

“After which, we will apply for regulatory approval for release of the coronavirus vaccine. If we get all the approvals after establishing strong experimental evidence and data, and efficacy and safety data in our last stage of trials, we aim to launch the vaccine in Q2 of 2021,” he added.

Covaxin is being indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The vaccine had entered its third stage of trials which will involve 26,000 volunteers across India.

The vaccine has successfully passed the phase 1 and 2 trials which were conducted on volunteers in the age-group of 12-65 years.

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