Four more COVID-19 vaccines are in pipeline: Health Ministry

NEW DELHI: Four more COVID-19 vaccines are in the pipeline and their manufacturers may approach the drug controller for emergency use authorisation, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

Addressing a press briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said Zydus Cadila, Sputnik V, Biological E and Genova are other vaccines also in the pipeline which are in advanced clinical trials in India.

“In the coming days you may see some of these vaccines too approaching the drug controller for emergency use authorization,” Bhushan said.

Elaborating further, Bhushan said Zydus Cadilla completed Phase 2 clinical trials of its coronavirus vaccine in December of last year and has been granted approval for Phase 3.

Similarly, Phase 2 clinical trials of Russia’s Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine have also concluded and Phase 3 trials are being carried out by its Indian partner Dr. Reddy’s laboratories, he said.

In the case of Biological E, Bhushan said the Phase 1 clinical trials of its vaccine started in December and Phase 2 is expected to begin in March.

Genova’s RnA-based COVID-19 vaccine is currently in Phase 1 with Phase 2 clinical trials likely to begin in March of this year, he said.

Bhushan said Pfizer-BioNTech is available at Rs 1,431 per dose, Moderna at Rs 2,348 to Rs 2,715 per dose, Sinopharm less that Rs 5,650 per dose, Sinovac Biotech at Rs 1,027 per dose, Novavax at Rs 1,114 per dose, Gamaleya Centre at less than Rs 734 per dose and Johnson and Johnson at Rs 734 per dose.

All these vaccines, except the one by Pfizer, can be stored between 2-8 degrees Celsius.

Pfizer needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius, he added.

India will launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16 with priority to nearly three crore healthcare and frontline workers.

India had recently granted emergency use authorization to two vaccines, Oxford’s Covishield being manufactured by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin.