India's top medical body, the ICMR has said human trials of coronavirus vaccine may begin in another six months.
Dr. Rajni Kant, Director Regional Medical Research Centre and Head at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) told news agency IANS that, "The virus strain isolated at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) laboratory in Pune will be used to develop the vaccine. It is expected that the human trials of the vaccine will begin in at least six months". Kant added that virus strain had been successfully transferred to the Bharat Biotech International Ltd. (BBIL).
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, on Sunday, said that four out of the 14 COVID-19 vaccine candidates from India may enter the clinical trial stage in the next three-five months.
Vardhan added that industry, academic world were contributing to the clinical trial. Additionally, Ministry of Science was helping the Department of Biotechnology in all such efforts. The Department of Biotechnology has been made a central coordination agency to identify pathways for vaccine development in the country.
Vardhan said, "It's very difficult to predict when a vaccine will come, but as a doctor, I can say that the process it involves, one year would be a modest estimate".
Meanwhile, US Biotech firm Novavax has also joined the list of companies to statrt human trials of a vaccine for the coronavirus disease.
As of May 26, there were at least 10 vaccines in human trials, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).