New Delhi: All eyes are set on pharmaceutical companies to answer questions about a vaccine against COVID-19- the deadly virus that has changed lives around the world. More than 200 COVID-19 vaccines are being developed across the world with dozens of companies. From startups to big pharmas, all are racing to complete clinical trials and develop a safe inoculation so that life could begin to return back to normal.Also Read - Germany Recognises Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin For Travel Purposes. Here’s What It Means For Indians

Earlier this month, AstraZeneca, Pfizer revealed promising results from their COVID-19 vaccine trial. Besides, Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has been found to be more than 95 per cent effective against deadly coronavirus in the second interim analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data. Also Read - Price of Corbevax Covid-19 Vaccine Slashed to Rs 250 Per Dose. Deets Inside

Let’s take a look at what exact stage of development are they in: Also Read - 9-Month Waiting Period For Booster Dose Relaxed For People Travelling Abroad. Deets Inside

Covishield- Serum Institute of India: ‘Covishield’ is being developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca in collaboration with UK’s Oxford University. Serum Institute of India (SII) has partnered with global pharma giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University for the vaccine candidate. Earlier on Saturday, after meeting with PM Modi, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla disclosed that they will apply for emergency authorisation of the COVID-19 vaccine in the next two weeks. Talking about the progress of the vaccine, SII CEO said, “We are in the process of submitting the data of our vaccine to the Drug Control of India. After it is reviewed it will be the decision if the Health Ministry to roll out doses in the first and second quarters.”Responding to a question on the distribution of the vaccine, Poonawalla stressed that the SII’s priority is India and other COVAX countries.

Covaxin- Bharat Biotech: ‘Covaxin’ is being developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Phase-three of the human clinical trial of Covaxin is currently underway at AIIMS in Delhi with Dr. MV Padma Srivastava, the chief of Neurosciences Centre at the premier institute, and three other volunteers receiving the first dose. Srivastava was the first one to receive the shot, which would be given to around 15,000 volunteers at the AIIMS over the next few days. The first dose of 0.5 ml intramuscular injection was given to four volunteers. They were under observation for two hours and will be monitored for the next few days, reports said.

ZyCOV-D- Zydus Cadila: ZyCOV-D is currently under phase 2 of human trials. Zydus Cadila had announced earlier that the phase-I clinical trial of its vaccine candidate ZyCoV-D was over and it had commenced phase-II clinical trials from August. The vaccine is expected to be ready by March 2021.

PM Modi’s Three-city Vaccine Tour

Yesterday PM Modi visited the Zydus Biotech Park in Ahmedabad, Bharat Biotech in Hyderabad and Serum Institute of India in Pune to personally review the manufacturing process and vaccine development work for COVID-19 being done by the pharma companies.

After the day-long visit, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said that the extensive review tour was aimed at getting a first-hand perspective of the preparations, challenges, and roadmap in India’s endeavor to vaccinate its citizens.

Meeting the scientists and vaccine developers face to face, PM Modi also expressed pride in the fact that India’s indigenous vaccine development has progressed at such a rapid pace so far.

Vaccine Won’t End All Worries

Speaking to a leading portal experts opined that the arrival of a vaccine may not be the end of all our worries. “The speed of development is a response to the pandemic that has unsettled health and economy across the world,” The Print quoted Dr K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) as saying.

“When we develop something with this speed and launch it into public use — two potential areas of concern are that the safety may be overlooked in search for efficacy, and the second concern is whether the duration of protection is correctly assessed,” he added.