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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: With scientists across the world working overtime to prepare a vaccine for Covid-19 by the year end, it is expected that the vaccine could be introduced in India as early as February,2021.

Speculations became rife after Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate showed safety and efficacy during the phase 1 and 2 trials as well as animal studies. And if everything goes well in phase 3 trials, the country could see an early start for mass vaccination drives against coronavirus.

“As per our projection, we hope the vaccine will be manufactured by December end as 10 types of vaccines are under various stages of trial at present. As some of the vaccine candidates are now in phase 3 trials, it is certainly going to help,” said health expert, Dr Subrat Jena.

At present, there are three vaccine candidates undergoing human trials in India. Of these, the Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate is in the most advanced stage in Phase 3 and Pune-based Serum Institute is conducting the trials. The phase 3 data are expected to be released by November end or December this year.

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is now in phase 3 trials on nearly 25000 people across the country. The third phase human trial of indigenously developed COVID-19 vaccine will be carried at the Institute of Medical Sciences (IMS) and SUM Hospital in Odisha for which 2000 volunteers have enrolled so far.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government on Friday decided to fast track the setting up of an advanced vaccine manufacturing unit with an investment of Rs 300 crore at Andharua on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.

Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL) has been roped in as the anchor developer and it will produce 10 types of vaccines including that of COVID-19 and malaria.

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