NEW DELHI: Efforts are being increased for massive production of vaccines and making them available in the shortest time possible, a top government official said on Wednesday, stressing that India currently has a promising pipeline of four to five Covid-19 vaccine candidates, while three have already ‘ u approved for use in an emergency.
Department of Biotechnology Secretary Renu Swarup said that Rs 400 crore financial support is being provided to vaccine candidates from Zydus Cadilla, Biological E, Gennova a Biratch Bharat (single dose intranasal vaccine).
Her statement came days after the government expanded the vaccination campaign to cover everyone over the age of 18.
“There are three vaccines in India, which have been approved for them Urgent Use Authorization – Covishield no Serum Institute of India (SII), Covaxin by Bharat Biotech International Ltd. (BBIL) and Russian Vaccine, Sputnik-V. Other than these, there is a promising pipeline of 4-5 candidates in advanced clinical development stages, ”Swarup told PTI.
A DNA vaccine candidate from Zydus Cadila, a protein sub-protein vaccine candidate from BioE, an mRNA vaccine candidate from Gennova, and a single-dose intranasal vaccine candidate from Bharat Biotech are in advanced stages of clinical trials, he said.
“The Department of Biotechnology has provided technical, advisory and financial support to these vaccine candidates during their early development. Now, under Mission Covid Suraksha, there is almost Rs 400 crore financial support for late stage clinical development of the candidates This vaccine is provided.
“The manufacturers already have existing capabilities and can contribute to approximately 15-20 million doses per month, which, once approved, can be made available for immunization,” Swarup said.
Together, six Indian companies including Dr Reddy’s will produce 70 crore doses a year of Russian vaccine Sputnik V., he added.