Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya, on July 20, said India may become the world’s first country to develop a DNA-based Covid vaccine. He was addressing the Rajya Sabha on the COVID-19 situation in the country.
The Minister said, “Zydus Cadila has finished the third phase trial of its DNA-based vaccine and has applied for its emergency use authorisation before the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). The moment, the vaccine will enter the market, India will be the only country where scientists have developed a DNA vaccine.”
Commenting on the number of vaccines available, the Minister highlighted that the country has started getting 11-12 crore doses of the Covishield vaccine on a monthly basis from the Serum Institute of India. Also, Bharat Biotech will also be providing 3.5 crore doses of Covaxin in the month of August. The states have been notified about the vaccine availability 15 days ahead, now it is on them to plan and manage vaccination drives accordingly.
On availability, the Minister added, another biotech company Biological E is holding the third phase of trials of its vaccine. The vaccine, 7.5 crore doses, is expected to be in the market by September-October.
It is not appropriate to say that the third wave will hit children more, said the Minister citing takeaways from the previous waves. Mentioning developments in India’s health sector with respect to the pandemic, he said that 316 oxygen plants of the total 1,573 planned have been commissioned and the rest will be functional by August end.
(With inputs from PTI)