In a first in India, the country's top medical research body is working to create an Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) vaccine portal, as a repository for all information related to vaccine development in India. The ICMR vaccine portal would be made public by the next week.
In the first stage, the ICMR vaccine portal will reflect the information on COVID-19 vaccine in India. However, with time, the web portal will be strengthened with data available for all the vaccines used to prevent various diseases.
"People can get all the updates on a vaccine in India under one roof. As of now, all the information is scattered. Therefore, after the directions from DG, we are working to develop this ICMR vaccine portal. Initially, the website will show data for COVID-19 vaccine. But, in future, we will update the website with information for other vaccines too as ICMR is an institute of bio-medical research," Dr Samiran Panda, Scientist and head of the Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases (ECD) Division of the medical body, said.
"The Central government along with the ICMR is making all best efforts to combat coronavirus pandemic. Wearing masks, hand-hygiene and social distancing are preventive measures but at the same time vaccine development is another important aspect which will be updated on the ICMR vaccine portal," said Dr Panda.
The scientist added that the ICMR vaccine portal will be made public by the next week.
It may be noted that three COVID vaccine candidates are in India which are in different phases of the clinical study.
The first is--inactivated virus vaccine, which is the "Bharat Biotech Vaccine", being developed in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Similarly, the second is a "DNA vaccine" of pharma giant called Zydus Cadila.
The third is a "Recombinant Oxford University vaccine", manufactured by Serum Institute of India (SII), that got approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to conduct phase 2 and phase 3 clinical study in the country.
According to the scientist, the ICMR vaccine portal will have sections like-COVID-19 vaccine, India's initiative, International Symposium and FAQ for the general public (which would be presented in regional language).
The vaccine portal will also fetch the information related to COVID-19 vaccine from the World Health Organisation (WHO) as available on their website.