Government officials told a Parliamentary panel on Friday that it is not possible to prepare corona vaccine before next year.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Climate Change was meeting for the first time after the lockdown was imposed due to COVID-19 on March 25. The panel was headed by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh.

Presentations were made by the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Biotechnology, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the principal scientific adviser to the government on Centre's preparedness for COVID-19. At Friday's meeting of the lawmakers' panel held at parliamemt, government advisors and officials told MPs that India, a leading manufacturer of vaccines and generic medicines, is expected to play a key role in the worldwide race.

Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said the delay in the resumption of parliamentary committee meetings was forced by circumstances beyond control.

"I am glad that Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committees have resumed functioning, three and half months since the last sitting of Parliament on March 23rd," he wrote on Twitter.

"Nearly 60 per cent of the world's vaccines are developed in India so we have hope that either India would be in the lead of finding or manufacturing the vaccine," a senior government official said at the meeting.

Earlier ICMR had made claims to launch the vaccine by Auguast 15, to which Union Health Ministry officials had later clarified that the intent of the ICMR Director General’s letter envisaging the launch of COVID-19 vaccine by August 15 was “only to expedite duly approved clinical trials without compromising on safety and security concerns“.

Some top scientists and medical experts called the timeline “unreasonable” and “absurd”. The ICMR later clarified that its letter “was meant to cut unnecessary red tape”.

Posted By: Tushar Kumar Laleria