India Vaccine COVAXIN Update – Could Roll out as early as February 2021

India's own vaccine developed by Bharat Biotech, ICMR and NIV could be available to the public soon

In the race to produce the vaccine for the coronavirus which has been in our country since the beginning of March, the country’s own indigenous vaccine called COVAXIN developed by Bharat Biotech with the Indian Council of Medical Research could be launched as early as February.

As quoted by the senior ICMR scientist Rajni Kant the vaccine is proven to show “good efficacy” and is expected to be available by February or March as late trials begin this month and have been proven safe and effective to the people who have been participating in the trial.

The Bharat Biotech’s COVID vaccine was found to be safe without any major adverse events in the first two stages and was found to neutralise antibodies and show good immunogenicity. Kant has said that you cannot be 100 per cent sure unless the trails of phase 3 are over.

The Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan announced in September that the government was considering granting an emergency authorisation for a COVID-19 vaccine particularly for the elderly people and frontline workers.

The Hyderabad based vaccine maker in collaboration with ICMR and the National Institute of Virology is an inactivated intramuscular vaccine that works by injecting the inactivated version of SARS-CoV-2 into the body to develop an immune response. The vaccine is being developed ensuring that the goal is to attain a strong immune response rate in the trials. They hope to apply for regulatory approval in the second quarter of 2021.

The phase III trials will be conducted across 25 sites in 10-12 states in the country. Two doses administered to each of the vaccine and placebo recipients, Bharat Biotech plans to rest 25,000-26,000 in the third phase of the trials with about 1,000 participants enrolled per hospital

The company has also built capacities to manufacture 200 million doses of vaccine and has plans to enhance its capacities to 500 million doses. It is also investing about 350-400 crore for the development of the vaccine and the new manufacturing facilities.


Several leading vaccine candidates are already in the final stages of testing all around the world. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is the most advanced of them, which is set for distribution as early as December if trials yield positive results. AstraZeneca has signed several manufacturing deals with companies and governments around the world and has already bidders such as the US, EU and Israel. It has also a manufacturing deal with the Serum Institute of India and is holding trials in the country too.

The need for a coronavirus vaccine is dire as the world is now facing a second wave especially with the rise of cases in countries like France, Germany, and other European states along with UK and US. As for India, the festive season brings in more caseloads and the need for a vaccine has never been more important, if the countries have to return to a state of normalcy then a vaccine is required which will be set out by Q2 or Q3 in the year 2021.