He said eight vaccine candidates being worked on, of which four were ahead of others.
K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the government of India, has revealed that almost 30 groups in the country are trying to develop that much-awaited vaccine to fight the novel coronavirus.
"When a vaccine is made it is not like a switch that may be available to everyone on day one". We have to have a distribution system ready.
The chief executive of AstraZeneca, which is developing a leading coronavirus vaccine with Oxford University, said it is too early to deliberately expose vaccine trial participants to the pathogen, but it may become an option if ongoing trials hit a snag. Though none of the 14 vaccine candidates that are being developed in India are ready for human trials yet, VijayRaghavan maintained 'several companies are trying to develop it on the backbone of flu vaccine.' These are is in the late pre-clinical trial stage, which could conclude by October.
The officials said that the vaccine development process is usually slow and fraught with uncertainties. It is not a rich or poor country's disease, it is everyone's disease.
The discussions include who are the most vulnerable, how will protective rings be formed by giving to specific kinds of people. The government said there were three lines of research and development.
Trial vaccines have many problems and often don't work. These will take time and in the meanwhile, there was no alternative to physical distancing and hand hygiene measures, he added.
Following a long history of partnership, including the announcement on 7 February of an agreement between The Jenner Institute and IRBM's Advent to manufacture ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, Advent has now manufactured its first batch of vaccine in just over one month from receiving the seed stock, whilst ensuring high standards of quality control. "Once the candidates look good, there would be tie with start-ups to go forward", said VijayRaghavan.
NITI Aayog member, Dr V K Paul said that the fight against novel Coronavirus will be won through vaccine and drugs. Once the domestic demand was met, India would be sending the kits to other countries as well, he added.