Coronavirus vaccine unlikely before 2021, says Centre after row over ICMR's August 15 launch deadline
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid row over Indian Council for Medical Research's (ICMR) August 15 launch deadline, the Narendra Modi government on Sunday clarified that none of the coronavirus vaccine candidates, including India's Covaxin and ZyCov-D, are likely to be ready for public use before 2021.
"Six Indian companies are working on a COVID-19 vaccine. Along with two Indian vaccines, COVAXIN and ZyCov-D, world over 11 out of 140 vaccine candidates are in human trials. None of these are likely to be ready for mass use before 2021," the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement.
The clarification from the ministry has come after backlash over ICMR Director-General Balram Bhargava's letter to the 12 institutes selected for conducting human trials for Covaxin, asking them to expedite the human trials and announcing the August 15 deadline for the launch.
Several experts and doctors said that the six-week deadline for a candidate vaccine was "unrealistic" and Opposition said that the ICMR was compromising with the safety of people by setting the Independence Day launch date to help Prime Minister Narendra Modi score political points.
"Beginning of the end"
The ministry, however, said that the approval for human clinical trials for India's two COVID-19 vaccine candidates - COVAXIN and ZyCov-D - was the "beginning of the end" for the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 5.3 lakh people and infected over 11 million.
"The nod by Drug Controller General of India, CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation), for conduct of human trial for vaccines, marks the beginning of the end," the ministry said.
Posted By: Shashikant Sharma