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India expected to have Covid vaccine by early next year: Health minister

Vardhan had earlier said a Covid-19 vaccine is likely to be available by the first quarter of 2021

Coronavirus | Coronavirus Vaccine | Harsh Vardhan

Press Trust of India 

Harsh Vardhan
File Photo of Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan

India is expected to have a Covid-19 vaccine from more than one source by early next year and the government is formulating distribution strategies for the immunisation of people across the country, Union Health Minister said on Tuesday.

"We're expecting that early next year we should have vaccine in the country from more than one source.

"We are formulating strategies for planned distribution of the vaccine in the country," he said in a tweet after chairing the 21st meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers (GoM) on Covid-19 through video-conference.

Vardhan had earlier said a Covid-19 vaccine is likely to be available by the first quarter of 2021. He had also said the Centre estimates to receive and utilise 40-50 crore doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, covering 20-25 crore people, by July next year.

On Sunday, the minister said considering the large population size of India, one vaccine or vaccine manufacturer will not be able to fulfil the requirements of vaccinating the entire country and added that the government is open to assessing the feasibility of introducing several Covid-19 vaccines in the country in accordance with their availability.

Vardhan further said the country's preparedness to make a Covid-19 vaccine available to its citizens was reviewed at the GoM meet.

He added that work is going on around 200 vaccine candidates across the world, of which 151 are in pre-clinical stages and about 40-42 are in various clinical trial stages. Nine vaccine candidates are in an advanced clinical trial stage, of which three are in India.

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First Published: Tue, October 13 2020. 23:50 IST