India may get four more COVID-19 vaccines soon, SII says work in progress

In a boost to India’s efforts to contain coronavirus, the Serum Institute of India (SII), one of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturers, has claimed that four more COVID-19 vaccines are in progress. SII has prepared Covishield, the vaccine which is being used in India. The institute says that the trial of all the vaccines is in full swing and it is expected that it will be completed soon.

According to Suresh Jadhav, Executive Director of the Serum Institute, work is progressing rapidly on four more vaccines in addition to Covishield. During a webinar, Jadhav said that SII is working on a total of five vaccines against the virus, including Covishield. The Serum Institute of India has partnered with Novavax Inc. to manufacture its potential COVID-19 vaccine for India and other countries.

To those raising questions about SII’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin without a complete trial, the Serum Institute has said that this is not happening for the first time. When the Ebola outbreak occurred in Africa four years ago, a Canadian pharmaceutical firm produced the vaccine. Only the first phase of this vaccine was completed and the second phase of the trial was underway. The trial was approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) even before the trial was completed, and the vaccine helped to control Ebola.

Jadhav also mentioned the H1N1 epidemic, saying that when the H1N1 vaccine was made in 2009, it took more than a year to complete all phases of clinical trials. However, in western countries, the drug makers started marketing such products in less than seven months and no one had questioned them. It is not right to question the use of Covishield, the chief executive said.

It may be noted that the opposition is questioning the use of the vaccine without a full trial, to which the company has given a clear answer.

A total of 2,24,301 beneficiaries (2,07,229 on day one) vaccinated till 17th January as per the provisional reports, according to the union health ministry.

Highest day vaccination number in the world. Higher than the US, UK, and France on Day one. Most of the EEF eyes reported so far are minor like fever headache and nausea et cetera. Meeting with is being held with all states/union territories for review of progress to identify bottlenecks and planned corrective actions, said the Ministry.