US pharma giant Johnson & Johnson is in talks with the centre to start an early-stage clinical study of its single-dose Covid vaccine in India, the company has said in a statement. The company will soon approach India's drug regulator for the approval, sources said.
"We are in discussions with the Government of India with the objective of starting a bridging clinical study of our Janssen COVID-19 vaccine candidate in India, subject to local regulatory approvals," the company said in a statement.
"At Johnson & Johnson, we remain fully focused on bringing a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to people around the world, if authorized for use by local health authorities," it added.
In large clinical trials, the J&J vaccine's efficacy against severe disease was 85.9 percent in the United States, 81.7 percent in South Africa, and 87.6 percent in Brazil.
In March, the World Health Organization issued emergency use authorization for the vaccine, paving the way for it to be used in the body's vaccine distribution initiative.
The European Union and the United States' Food and Drug Administration had also approved the use of the vaccine in their inoculation programmes.
Currently, Swedish-British company AstraZeneca's Covishield and homegrown Covaxin are being used in India's vaccine drive against the coronavirus.
The centre had promised many other vaccines either developed or manufactured in India will be launched.
The government is vaccinating people aged 45 or above. Several states, however, have demanded to expand the drive by including people of other age groups, amid a spurt in coronavirus cases across the country.
So far over 9 crore people have received at least one dose of the vaccines in India.