Three of the nearly 30 coronavirus vaccine candidates in the country are in advanced stages of clinical trials, while four are in pre-clinical development stage, Science and Technology Ministry Harsh Vardhan said on Friday.
A high-level expert group is looking into matters related to vaccine distribution and immunisation, he said.
"Nationally, nearly 30 vaccine candidates are under development, by both industry and academia. These vaccines are in different stages of pre-clinical and clinical development of which three candidates are in advanced stage of Phase I/II/III trials and four are in advanced pre-clinical development stage," Mr Vardhan said in a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha.
The distribution and immunisation of the coronavirus vaccine are subject to availability, the minister said.
"Once available, the coronavirus vaccine distribution follows the same route as for the current practice of vaccines distribution under Universal Immunisation Program (UIP)," he added.
Mr Vardhan said five National COVID-19 Biorepositories have been established by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT). This is a part of the network of 16 COVID-19 biorepositories established in the country by Department of Biotechnology, Indian Council of Medical Research and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, he added.
So far, 44,452 clinical samples and 17 virus isolates have been collected which are accessible to researchers and industry for developing diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, the minister said.
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