World-wide trials of six Corona vaccines in Phase III

New Delhi, August 29, 2020: At the Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting held today, Dr. Vinod K Paul, Chairperson of the Empowered Group-1 on Medical Emergency Management Plan apprised the GoM of the process of COVID vaccine development in India and around the world.
He stated that 29 candidates, including 2 Indian ones, are in Clinical Trials out of which 6 are in Phase III.
In India, Bharat Biotech’s vaccine candidate based on inactivated virus procured by ICMR is in Phase II trial along with ZydusCadila’s candidate which is based on viral DNA.
The Oxford vaccine candidate developed by Serum Institute of India is already in Phase III trial in Maharashtra and some other States.
Dr. Paul also informed the GoMof the progress made by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19.
The group is tasked with facilitation of vaccine development including issues of trial and stockpiling, sorting out issues of financing, risk-management, selection of potential beneficiaries and their order of reference, envisioning logistics, scale up, digital system, defining principles for selecting beneficiary categories, and defining scientific basis for selecting vaccine.
Three meetings of the Expert Group have been held so far.
The GoM was briefed on the current status of COVID-19 in India.
The global comparison clearly depicted that India has one of the lowest cases per million (2424) and deaths per million (44) compared to the global average of 3161 and 107.2 respectively.
It was noted that despite being resource constrained and densely populated, timely lockdown and rapid augmentation of infrastructure by India have enabled to keep the case/ million and deaths/million considerably lower compared to other countries.
Within the country, eight States (Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana) contribute to around 73% of the active caseload, as of today.
Moreover, seven States (Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal) account for 81% of total deaths.
The GoM was briefed on the guidance note issued on the bi-directional TB and COVID screening, diabetes management in COVID facilities etc. and the meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary with the States where they were advised to ramp up testing and measures were suggested to contain the spread and reduce mortality below 1%.
The Union Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan said, “In the month since the last meeting of GoM on 31st July, we have made tremendous strides in containing the disease. As many as 26.4 lakh have already recovered. The country’s Case Fatality Rate is at its lowest 1.81% and consecutively Recovery Rate has increased to 76.47%.”
He further informed the GOM that with creation of sufficient health facilities, the health infrastructure in the country has been amply strengthened.
Also, only 0.29% of cases are on ventilators, 1.93% on ICU and only 2.88% of cases are on oxygen. A total of 1576 labs at present have led to an upsurge in testing and the goal of 10 lakhs tests per day has been fulfilled.
More than 9 lakh samples were tested in the last 24 hours and this has led to the cumulative total number of tests crossing the 4 crore mark” he added.

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