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India to get 8 new COVID-19 vaccines; Here’s everything you need to know

India has ramped up its coronavirus vaccine production amid a deadly second wave of infections that is now abating.

At present, there are three COVID-19 vaccines — Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V — being administered in India. However, there are actually many other vaccines currently in the pipeline in India.

Here’s all you need to know about the new vaccines:

Covovax

Apart from Covishield, the Serum Institute of India (SII) is also producing protein-based vaccine NVX-CoV2373 under the brand name ‘Covovax’. This vaccine was developed by US biotechnology company Novovax.

SII’s chief executive officer Adar Poonwalla has said he hoped to launch the vaccine by September. Meanwhile, 20 crore doses of the vaccine are likely to be produced by December.

Bio E Sub Unit Vaccine

Biological E’s made-in-India vaccine is expected to have 90 per cent effectiveness against COVID-19 and will likely be a game changer in the fight against the pandemic. The vaccine is entering Phase 3 trials and could be available by October.

Biological E’s vaccine – to be called Corbevax — is similar to the Novavax vaccine. Thirty crore doses of Corbevax are expected to be rolled out between August and December. Of these, at least 7.5 crore doses will be available by September.

ZyCoV-D

Zydus Cadila in Gujarat is producing an intradermal COVID-19 vaccine called ZyCoV-D. It is India’s first indigenously developed DNA vaccine candidate and is currently being tested on children.

The company hopes to submit the data of phase 3 of the clinical trial, currently underway on 28,000 adult and adolescent volunteers, to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) by May end and start production and supply by June.

If approved, ZyCoV-D will be the country’s second indigenously developed vaccine after Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin. ZyCoV-D is a three-dose vaccine.

The company is expected to provide five crore doses between August to December. ZyCoV-D is likely to be rolled out in a month’s time. Zydus Cadila will apply for emergency use authorisation in two weeks.

Nasal Vaccine

Bharat Biotech’s nasal vaccine candidate is currently under Phase I trials. The health ministry officials on Thursday, June 17, said that they hope to procure 10 crore doses of the nasal vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech by December.

According to Bharat Biotech, its intranasal vaccine, BBV154, creates an immune response at the site of infection (in the nasal mucosa). This helps to block both infection and transmission of coronavirus.

The pharma company claims that the vaccine will have fewer side effects as it does not require a needle for administration. People will not have to go to a medical professional for the vaccine and will be able to administer it themselves as nasal drops. The company has said that the nasal vaccine will be cheaper than the other vaccines available in the market.

Janssen

Biological E is also bringing Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine to India. The Indian company has a deal to produce about 600 million doses of the vaccine called Janssen.

Janssen has already been approved for use in the United States, the European Union, Thailand and South Africa among others.

Gennova mRNA Vaccine

Not far away from SII, Gennova Biopharmaceuticals is another company based in Pune. The company has developed India’s first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine called HGC019. Phase I trials for the vaccine candidate began last month and nearly 120 volunteers have been covered so far.

Gennova Biopharmaceuticals has said that it will most likely start the second phase of trials within two months of completing the first. It hopes to apply for an emergency use approval after successful phase 2.

Gennova Biopharmaceuticals has been granted INR 250 crores by the government. The company’s vaccine candidate is likely to be launched early next year.

Pfizer and Moderna

The Indian citizens will also have access to the vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine might soon make its way to India for all adults. The company is currently in talks with the Indian government to get emergency use approvals for its vaccine.

Cipla is close to committing one billion dollars in advance payment for Moderna’s booster vaccine in India. Wockhardt has also said it intends to get the technology transfer of jabs in order to manufacture two billion doses in India.

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