'India examining strategy': Centre on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine constraints

Updated: 18 November, 2020 09:30 IST | PTI | New Delhi

The NITI Aayog member further said that there are five COVID-19 vaccine candidates under various stages of clinical trials in India of which two are in the third phase

This picture has been used for representational purposes
This picture has been used for representational purposes

The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that the central government is examining all possibilities to extend cold chain facilities in case Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine needs to be procured. Responding to a query on vaccine storage at low temperature, Dr VK Paul, NITI Aayog member (Health) said it would be a huge challenge for any country to maintain cold chain facility at a lower temperature of -70 degree or -80 degree celsius and scale-up vaccine procurement. "However, knowing all the circumstances, we are examining how to scale up vaccine storage facilities."

"We are keeping a close watch on the development of these vaccines and we are also aware of the fact that we won't be able to get a large number of doses of this vaccine required for our population. In case, union government procures it, all necessary arrangements will be made parallelly," said Dr Paul at a media briefing on COVID-19 update in India.

The NITI Aayog member further said that there are five COVID-19 vaccine candidates under various stages of clinical trials in India of which two are in the third phase.

"India is one of the countries which is showing good progress in COVID-19 vaccine trials. Serum Oxford vaccine is in the completion of the phase 3 trials and Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine's candidate has begun phase 3 trials and the results for phase 2 trials can be announced any time. Zydus Cadila has completed phase 2 trials" Dr Paul said.

"The Russian vaccine in collaboration with Dr Reddy's Laboratories will begin phase 2 and 3 clinical trials soon while Biological E coronavirus vaccine's early phase 1 and 2 clinical trials have been launched," he added.

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First Published: 18 November, 2020 09:19 IST

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