Coronavirus outbreak: Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine may not be needed, says Harsh Vardhan
New Delhi, Nov 24: Union health minister Harsh Vardhan has reiterated that India may not require Pfizer's vaccine against the novel coronavirus, with other vaccine candidates being tested in the country showing promising results in safety trials so far.
According to reports, the health minister said that it did not make sense to consider the Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine as even the US regulatory authority had not yet granted approval to the vaccine.
It can be seen that India has at least five vaccine candidates against COVID-19 under human trial, of which three vaccine candidates are undergoing advanced phase 2/3 clinical trials to establish safety and efficacy.
The Serum Institute of India is conducting the phase 3 trial with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine candidate.
The Bharat Biotech-ICMR vaccine candidate, Covaxin, has also progressed, and phase 3 trial has started. The results of its phase 2 trials are expected anytime now.
Cadila Health's vaccine candidate, ZyCovD, has also completed the phase 2 trial, and is awaiting results, even as the follow up period is nearing its end.
Apart from these three, phase 2/3 trials for the Sputnik V Russian vaccine, for which India's Dr Reddy's labs has tied up with the Russian vaccine developers, is going to start anytime this week.