11:08 GMT24 July 2021
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    Over 170 countries are engaged in developing a vaccine for COVID-19 with 10 candidates under evaluation, according to the WHO. Nine of the vaccines are under clinical trials, including three from India. Russia was the first country to release its vaccine – Sputnik-V, which has undergone two trials, with no serious side effects.

    Nine CEOs of global drug manufacturers, who have developed possible vaccines for COVID-19, have pledged that they would only “submit for approval or emergency use authorisation after demonstrating safety and efficacy through a Phase 3 clinical study.”

    The Chief Executive Officers, who signed the pledge were of AstraZeneca, BioNTech, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Moderna, Novavax, Pflizer and Sanofi. In a statement, they outlined their commitment to uphold the integrity of the scientific process.

    The joint statement said, they would “continue to adhere to high scientific and ethical standards regarding the conduct of clinical trials and the rigour of manufacturing processes.”

    Indian drug manufacturer Serum Institute of India has collaborated for clinical trials with the manufacturer of the vaccine Covidshield developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with Oxford University.

    US President Donald Trump earlier pledged a vaccine before the end of the year, while Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised that once the scientists give the green light, “we will launch massive production of the vaccine”.

    India’s apex biomedical research body – Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) came under fire from the scientific community when in early July it announced that a vaccine would be available by 15 August at the latest.

    Besides Serum Institute of India, two more laboratories are involved in clinical trials of the COVID-19 vaccine – Bharat Biotech, which has developed a drug candidate Covaxin in collaboration with ICMR, and the third ZyCoV-D developed by Zydus Cadila.

    All of these vaccines are under different stages of clinical trials. India has seen 943,480 cases of coronavirus and 76,271 deaths, according to data released by the federal Health and Family Welfare Ministry.


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