At least four of the candidate coronavirus vaccines are soon expected to enter the clinical trial stage, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday. There are 14 candidate vaccines for the virus in India which are at different levels of development, Harsh Vardhan said in a social media interaction with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader G V L Narasimha Rao.
"There are over 100 candidate vaccines which are at different levels of development. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is coordinating the efforts. India is also actively contributing in it," Vardhan said. "As far as I know, four of our fourteen vaccines will soon be in the clinical trial stage, within 4 to 5 months. All the 14 are right now at the pre-clinical trial stage," he added.
However, the minister also issued a caution in expecting any vaccine soon since it involves a long due procedure. "It will take minimum one year for the development of any vaccine even if it is developed earliest. Therefore use social distancing, masks and follow hand and physical hygiene -- the biggest safeguard against the disease -- till any vaccine or cure is found," he noted.
Meanwhile, Harsh Vardhan took charge as the Chairman of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Executive Board on May 22. One hundred and ninety-four nations signed the proposal to appoint India's nominee as the Chairman. The decision to elect India was unanimously taken last year. India on Saturday saw its biggest single-day spike in coronavirus cases. The country now has 125,149 cases. As many as 3,728 people have died so far.