November 11, 2020
Despite Pfizer becoming the first company to release
successful interim data for large scale Covid-19
vaccine trials, Indian health authorities are of the
view that the AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech candidates
remain the country’s best options for an early vaccine.
Officials said while Pfizer has released its data earlier,
these two vaccines are at equally advanced stages of
Phase-3 clinical trials. Moreover, unlike the Pfizer
experimental vaccine, these two candidates are undergoing
trials in India and will be available as soon as the tests
are successfully completed.
“India will have to focus on the indigenous vaccines and
the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine. These vaccines are being
tested in the India population and this is a major advantage
over any other potential candidate,” said a senior government
Over 200 coronavirus vaccine candidates are being developed
around the world and the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine
is considered one of the frontrunners. Indian health
authorities are closely monitoring the last stage trial
results of the Oxford vaccine, which are likely to be
released either this month or next month.
“It’s a two dose vaccine. One thousand people in India
have already got the shot. Phase-3 trials in India will
get over by next month and the trial results will pave
the way for approval by regulators. The vaccine could be
available as soon as the final trials are completed,”
said an industry expert. Indian health authorities are
also closely monitoring the last stage trial results of
the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is likely to come
out this month.
“The Oxford vaccine could be available as soon as the final
trials are completed. The trial results will pave the
way for its approval by the regulators,” added the
The other two candidates which are being tested in India
belong to Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila.