New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Tuesday said that the phase 3 trials of the Oxford vaccine will begin in India this week. Also Read - COVID-19 Symptoms in Order: How to Differentiate Common Symptoms From Flu

In the weekly press conference, Dr VK Paul, head of the national task force on COVID-19 said that the vaccine candidate entering the third phase has yielded encouraging results in the initial phases of its trial. Also Read - India's COVID Tally Surpasses 53 Lakh-mark, Deaths Stand at 85,619; 5 Worst-hit States Report High Level of Recoveries | Key Points

The ministry also added that the other two vaccines are currently in phase-I or II of their pre-clinical trials. However, they did not reveal the names of the vaccines while sharing the status of their testing phase. Also Read - 9 Months Into The Pandemic | When Will Coronavirus End And Life Limp Back to Normal?

ChAdOx1, developed by Oxford University and manufactured jointly by the Serum Institute of India (SII), Pune and AstraZeneca, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, jointly developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the third is ZycovD by Zydus Cadila. India has currently three vaccine candidates for COVID-19.

Earlier, the Serum Institute of India had said that it would start phase-2 trial of its COVID-19 vaccine this week. It had also added that it has shortlisted 10 centres across India to host phases-2 and 3 for human clinical trials. Meanwhile, Zydus Cadila administered the second dose of its COVID-19 vaccine a few days ago.

Phase III trials in Maharashtra, Gujarat

As per another report, the Oxford vaccine will begin phase III trials in Pune and Mumbai in Maharashtra and Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Moreover, the vaccine will be administered to 1,600 people in this phase,.

The developments on the vaccine came a day after the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration met five domestic COVID vaccine manufacturers to review the clinical trial stages of these vaccine candidates. The manufacturers included two whose products are not yet in the clinical trial stage in India. Zydus Cadila had stated in the review meeting that it may be able to launch the vaccine by next year.

Who will get the first dose?

As per reports, people who have not been infected by the virus will be the first ones to get the first dose of the vaccine.

People who have tested positive for the virus and others who have developed antibodies against the virus will not be given the doses.

(With inputs from agencies)