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6 Indian cos attempt to make coronavirus vaccine

Pitching in the global efforts to find a quick preventive for the fatal infection spreading rapidly across the world, six companies in India are working on a vaccine for COVID-19. According to a top Indian scientist, around 70 ‘vaccine candidates’ are being tested and at least three have moved to the human clinical trial stage. However, the vaccine for the novel coronavirus is unlikely to be ready for mass use before 2021.

Gagandeep Kang, executive director of the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute, Faridabad, told reporters, “While Zydus Cadila is working on two vaccines, Serum Institute, Biological E, Bharat Biotech, Indian Immunologicals, and Mynvax are developing one vaccine each”.

The human testing phase is composed of many phases according to scientists.

“Phase one trials are small-scale, usually involving few participants, to assess whether the vaccine is safe for humans. Phase two trials often involve several hundred subjects, and mainly evaluate the efficacy of the vaccine against the disease,” said E. Sreekumar, chief scientific officer at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) in Kerala. In the last phase, thousands of people are further assessed to test the efficacy of the vaccine over a defined period of time.