India speeding up to develop COVID-19 vaccine: ICMR

India is known to be the “pharmacy of the world.” Nearly 60 percent of the drugs used in the United States of America are of Indian source. These generic drugs are made in India as the country has established itself throughout the years. This is potentially known to countless people all across the globe, said (Prof) Dr. Balram Bhargava, Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).


Highlighting an important fact that is not known about Indian vaccines and drugs.


Dr. Bhargava emphasized on a less known but essential fact considering Indian vaccines and drugs that around 60 percent of the vaccines (like Rubella, measles, polio) provided across the globe, may it be Africa, Europe, South East Asia or any part of the world belong to an Indian source. 


Hence, India is perceived as a key player in vaccines for supply throughout the globe, he stated.


“Any vaccine candidate which is being produced or developed in any part of the world will ultimately have to be scaled up by India or by China. Because these two countries are major producers of vaccines in the world and India supplies 60 percent of vaccines to the world that all developed nations are aware of it. And therefore, they are in communication with India for the vaccine distribution ultimately, if it is developed to the whole world,” Dr. Bhargava informed.


Considering the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic situation, one of the top scientist of the apex medical research body stated that in India’s view, the country has two indigenous applicant vaccines which scientists are doing their best to accelerate it as their moral duty to avoid delay of even a single day for regulatory clearances for these vaccines to stop the transfer of the virus.


“There are two indigenous candidate vaccines and they have gone successful toxicity studies in rats, mice, and rabbits. These data were submitted to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) following which both these candidate vaccines got clearance to start the early phase of human trials,” notified ICMR Director-General.


Lately, ANI informed that DCGI has given its approval to Zydus Cadila and Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL), who has associated with ICMR to carry out a phase I/II clinical tests on humans for COVID -19 vaccine.


“Now, they have got their sites ready and they are doing the clinical study approximately on 1,000 volunteers each at different sites. They are trying to do early clinical testing for these two candidate vaccines. There are pre-clinical experiments as well for other vaccines being done at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Pune. Experts are working day and night to do these experiments and it is their moral duty to develop vaccines as fast as possible as more than half a million people have succumbed to COVID-19 across the world. So “fast-tracking” the development of COVID vaccines is more important,” informed Dr. Bhargava.


Dr. Bhargava further added: “Recently, Russia has fast-tracked a vaccine which has been successful and it is in early phases and they have fast-tracked its development. And the world has applauded it and congratulated them. China has fast-tracked its vaccine program. Meanwhile, the US and UK are looking for ways to fast track its vaccine development for human use.” 


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