New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a bid to reach the huge vaccination target of inoculating 1 crore people in a day, the Centre on Thursday finalised an arrangement with Hyderabad-based vaccine manufacturer Biological-E to book 30 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses, set to be manufactured and stockpiled by the company from August to December this year.

According to a statement by the Union Health Ministry on Thursday, an advance payment of Rs 1,500 will be made to the Biological-E by the Centre. This will be the second made-in-India COVID-19 vaccine to be used in the country after Bharat BioTech's Covaxin.

The COVID-19 vaccine of Biological-E is currently undergoing phase-3 clinical trial after showing promising results in phase 1 and 2 trials. The vaccine being developed by Biological-E is an RBD protein sub-unit vaccine and is likely to be available in the next few months.

"The COVID-19 vaccine of Biological-E is currently undergoing Phase-3 clinical trial after showing promising results in Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials. The vaccine being developed by Biological-E is a RBD protein sub-unit vaccine and is likely to be available in the next few months", the statement by the Union Health Ministry said.

Biological-E received an apporval from the Central Drugs and Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) in April to conduct phase 3 trials on its vaccine candidate, which is developed by the company in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine, US, and is modelled after the Hepatitis E vaccine. The Biological-E has also joined hands with Canada-based Providence Therapeutics Holdings Inc, to manufacture an mRNA (messenger Ribonucleic acid) vaccine PTX-COVID19-B in India.

The proposal of Biological-E was examined and recommended for approval after due diligence by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 (NEGVAC). The arrangement with Biological-E is part of the wider endeavour of the Centre to encourage indigenous vaccine manufacturers by providing them support in research and development and also financial support, the statement further said.

This has been undertaken as part of the government's 'Mission COVID Suraksha, the Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission,' which was launched to reinforce and accelerate COVID-19 vaccine development efforts as part of the third stimulus package, Atmanirbhar 3.0, the statement said.

Currently, three vaccines are available in the country - Pune-based Serum Institute of India's Covishield, Bharat Biotech's COVAXIN, and the Russian Sputnik V. As per the union health ministry, as many as 22,10,43,693 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the country so far.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan