Coronavirus: 4 vaccines in human trial stage, government tells Parliament
India has four COVID-19 vaccines in the human trial stage, the central government told the Rajya Sabha (Upper House of the Parliament) on Tuesday. The announcement comes on the day that India reported its lowest single-day spike in coronavirus infections in 125 days, reporting just over 30,000 new cases. However, the government has repeatedly stressed vigil against a possible third wave of infections.
India's tally crosses 3.11 crore; 4.14 lakh dead
According to the Union Health Ministry, till Tuesday morning, India reported a total of 3,11,74,322 COVID-19 cases. The death toll has reached 4,14,482. So far, 3,03,53,710 patients have recovered, while 4,06,130 cases involve active infections. In the past 24 hours alone, India recorded 30,093 new infections, 45,254 more discharges, and 374 fresh fatalities. 40,64,81,493 vaccine doses have been administered so far.
India's second wave had peaked in May
Notably, India's second wave peaked on May 7, when 4.14 lakh single-day cases were reported, over four times the number of cases reported during the first wave in mid-September. Although infections have declined since the second wave peaked, India crossed the three crore-mark on June 23. India had crossed the one crore-mark on December 19, 2020, and the two crore-mark on May 4, 2021.
53% infections located in Kerala, Maharashtra
Maharashtra reported 6,017 new COVID-19 cases along with 13,051 more recoveries. Kerala, the second worst-hit state after Maharashtra, reported 9,931 new cases and 13,206 discharges. Meanwhile, the third worst-hit Karnataka added 1,291 new cases and 3,015 recoveries. Tamil Nadu, the fourth worst-hit state, reported 1,971 new cases and 2,558 recoveries. Andhra Pradesh reported 1,628 new cases and 2,744 recoveries.
'4 vaccines in human trial stage; 1 in pre-clinical stage'
There are four COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the human trial stage, while another one is in the pre-clinical stage, Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh told the Rajya Sabha. Cadila Healthcare Ltd's DNA-based vaccine, Bharat Biotech's Adeno intranasal vaccine, along with Biological E Ltd's candidate are all undergoing Phase III trials, he said. Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd's mRNA-vaccine candidate is in Phase I trials.
187 crore doses to be available throughout 2021
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Health Bharati Praveen Pawar informed the Parliament that the projected eligible population for vaccinations (those above the age of 18 years) is 94 crore. The total requirement for vaccine doses is 188 crore, but this may reduce if single-dose vaccines get approval, Pawar said. An estimated 187 crore doses will be available between January and December 2021.