NEW DELHI: India’s Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Saturday said that the country is developing seven more COVID-19 vaccines and also working on further vaccine development to inoculate every citizen of India.
He said the Centre does not have any immediate plan to make the vaccines available in the open market and a decision will be taken as the situation demands.
The COVID-9 inoculation process for people aged above 50 will start in March, he told reporters.
“We are not dependent only on the two vaccines as the country is working on seven more indigenous vaccines.
“Simultaneously, we are also working on the development of more vaccines because India is a huge country and we need more players and research to reach out to everyone,” he said.
Three of the vaccines are in the trial phase, two are in the pre-clinical stage, one is in phase 1 and another in phase 2, the Union health minister said.
“The COVID-19 inoculation process for people above 50 years of age will start next month,” he said.
“Presently, COVID-19 vaccines are being administered on an emergency basis, under full observation and in a controlled manner. If the vaccines are released in the open market, there won’t be any control over them. The decision will be taken as the situation demands,” he added.
Two COVID vaccines Covishield and Covaxin are being administered to healthcare and the frontline workers during the ongoing initial stages of the inoculation process.
Covishield, AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, has been developed by the University of Oxford.
Covaxin is India’s first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)-National Institute of Virology (NIV).
Source: Press Trust of India