COVID-19 vaccine will be made available in the country by the start of 2021, said union health minister Dr harsh Vardhan on Thursday.

“Just like other countries, India is also making efforts. Three COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in different phases,” Harsh Vardhan said in the Rajya Sabha.

“Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s guidance, an expert group is looking at it and there is advanced planning in place,” he added.

“We are hopeful that by the start of next year a COVID-19 vaccine will be available in India,” the minister further said.

It may be mentioned here that 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.

It is worth mentioning here that India is the manufacturing partner of the vaccine candidate named Covishield.

Covishield is jointly developed 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.

Moreover, 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.

Sputnik V, an adenovirus vector-based vaccine, was developed by the Gamaleya Scientific Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, along with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and registered on August 11.

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