Government of India has allocated Rs.900 crore to Department of Biotechnology(DBT) for research and development of COVID-19 vaccines under Mission COVID Suraksha. This is the third stimulus package, already a stimulus of Rs.900 crore for a period of 12 months has been allocated for phase 1 trials.The Department has supported 10 vaccines so far, 5 are in human trials including the Russian Vaccine Sputnik-V of which 3 are in an advanced stage.
Objective of the fund :- to quicken the process of pre-clinical& clinical development; licensure of COVID-19 vaccine, and strengthening the existing immunoassay laboratories, central laboratories and suitable facilities for animal studies, production facilities, and other testing facilities to support COVID-19 vaccine development.
Mission COVID Suraksha- The Indian COVID-19 Vaccine Development Mission
i.National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization(NTAGI), approved Mission COVID Suraksha to focus on the development of vaccines to combat the spread of COVID-19 infection in mission mode.
ii.Target– To develop at least 5-6 potential vaccines
iii.Fund Allocated– Rs.3000 crore in a timeline of 12 to 18 months
iv.The Mission is led by the Department of Biotechnology(DBT) and Implemented by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council(BIRAC)
Different Phases in Vaccine development:
|Phase||No. Of People|
|Phase 2||Several 100s|
|Phase 3||Up to 3000|
|Phase 4||Several 1000s|
During the clinical trials, only half of the participants are given the actual vaccine and other are injected with Placebo(sugar water).
Coronavirus causes Respiratory dysfunctions leading to Pneumonia affecting both the lungs.
Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction(RT-PCR) test is carried out to identify the presence of coronavirus.
Key Vaccine Candidates under Phase-3 in India:
i.Sputnik V Vaccine of Russia is at Phase 3 human trials in India, by Hyderabad based Hetero Biopharma. Sputnik V is the world’s first COVID19 vaccine.
ii.“Covaxin”, an indigenously developed Corona vaccine candidate from India is produced and tested by Bharat Biotech in partnership with Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR).
iii. Pune-based Serum Institute of India(SII) is in phase 3 trial with Oxford university vaccine candidate, “Covishield”.
About Drug Controller General of India(DCGI):
Under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, DCGI is the central organization of the Government of India to provide licenses to drugs and also set standards for manufacturing, sales, imports, and distribution of drugs in India.
Recent Related News:
Recently, CSIR(Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology(CSIR-IGIB) has developed a paper strip based test to identify coronavirus presence through FELUDA paper strip based Covid test.
About Ministry of Health and Family Welfare:
Union Minister– Dr.Harsh Vardhan
Minister of State– Ashwini Kumar Choubey
Founded in 1946
About Department of Biotechnology(DBT):
Formed in 1986 under the Ministry of Science and Technology
Secretary– Dr. Renu Swarup