NEW DELHI: On India's 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said that three vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are in different stages of trials in the country. He said that mass production of vaccine for COVID-19 will begin in India once scientists give their nod, and a roadmap was ready to ensure it reaches everyone in the country in the shortest possible time.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in his seventh Independence speech, Modi said that the talent of our scientists is like that of ''rishi munis''. He said whenever there is talk of COVID-19, the question that comes to everyone's mind is that when will a vaccine be ready.
"I want to tell people, the talent of our scientists is like that of ''rishi munis'' and they are working very hard in laboratories. Three vaccines are in various stages of testing. When scientists will give us the green signal, there will be production on a mass scale and all preparations have been made for it," Modi said.
A roadmap has been prepared to ensure that the vaccine reaches everyone in the country in the shortest possible time with mass production, he said.
Three vaccine candidates are in different stages of human clinical trials in India.
The phase-1 and 2 human clinical trials of two of them, developed indigenously by Bharat Biotech, in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR), and Zydus Cadila Ltd, are currently underway.
The Serum Institute of India has been permitted for conducting Phase 2 and 3 human clinical trials of the third vaccine candidate developed by the Oxford University. The Pune-based institute has partnered with AstraZeneca to manufacture the vaccine.