New Delhi: With many countries working on developing a vaccine for COVID-19, Indian scientists are testing a multi-purpose vaccine which is known to be effective against leprosy while also aiding in boosting immunity, to check its usage in the tackling of the Coronavirus, NDTV reported on Friday. Also Read - COVID-19: ICMR Not Recommending BCG Vaccine Yet
“With the approval of the DCGI (Drug Controller General of India), we have begun tests on the MW vaccine that has been successfully used against leprosy,” Dr Shekhar Mande, Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), told NDTV. Also Read - US, India Working Together on COVID-19 Therapies And Vaccines, Says Mike Pompeo
“Making a vaccine is a lengthy process. The research is going on. We are working on a vaccine that improves the immunity in hosts. We are awaiting two more approvals. Once we have those, we will start trials. We will know the results within the next six weeks,” Dr Mande added. Also Read - 6 Indian Companies Start Working on Vaccine for COVID-19, But It Won't be Ready Until 2021
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has maintained that developing a vaccine for Coronavirus may take a year or more.
In a separate development, the Indian Council of Medical Research has said that it won’t yet recommend the use of BCG vaccine in fighting COVID-19. A study will begin next week on this subject, ICMR head scientist Dr Raman Gangakhedkar told news agency ANI. “Till we don’t have definitive results from this, we won’t recommend it even for health workers,” he said.
The WHO, too, has not endorsed claims the BCG vaccine can be used for the prevention of COVID-19.