New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In what could be a ray of hope in the country's fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic, Bharat Biotech has said that its COVID-19 vaccine 'Covaxin' will be at least 60 per cent effective.

While speaking to India Today in an interview, Sai D Prasad, President of Quality Operations at Bharat Biotech, said 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.

Also Read | From Oxford-AstraZeneca to Sputnik V to Covaxin, India pins hopes on these seven COVID-19 vaccines

"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. Notably, the phase trials will only be conducted on volunteers above the age of 18 years.

The vaccine has successfully passed the phase 1 and 2 trials which were conducted on volunteers in the age-group of 12-65 years. The company had earlier claimed that the vaccine had helped more than 90 per cent volunteers develop antibodies against coronavirus.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma